Omicron cases continue to rise in Iran. Khuzestan officials warn that all “common cold” cases are COVID-19 and Omicron will be the dominant variant in Khuzestan and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari provinces in the next 10 days! Deputy Head of Ahvaz Medical University estimated there are at least 1,400 cases of Omicron in Khuzestan alone. He said the variant doubles every 2-3 days, and the low number of tests is a hurdle in knowing the accurate numbers or situation. He gave a few staggering stats on vaccination situation in the province: Vaccination rate on a daily basis is 0.05% first dose, 0.1% second dose and 0.2% third dose. 10% of school bus drivers have not received any vaccine, 12% of intercity taxi drivers are on the same boat and so are 21% of delivery drivers! Dr. Alavi added, the first dose has no immunity against Omicron, 2nd dose is effective up to 30% and third dose could be 70% and up. Markazi and Rasht had reported similar poor results earlier.
Meanwhile, many students, managers and educators have remained unvaccinated. While the Islamic Republic Ministry of Health claims the number of COVID-19 cases are dropping and everything is normal in the country, local authorities criticize the Ministry for not providing “accurate and transparent statistics.” Sharifi from Khuzestan Corona Combating Committee said, “we are responsible for people’s health but not appraised of accurate data.” Ardabil reports increasing hospitalizations too.
Official data indicate that since February 9, only 8,752,018 (10.41% of Iran population) have received 3 doses of these vaccines. The majority of shots used in Iran are the ineffective Sinopharm and failed COVIran Barekat. WHO recommends 3 doses of Sinopharm to be effective against Delta but studies have found the vaccine ineffective against Omicron. It is worth mentioning, Khamenei banned US and UK made vaccines in January to promote his own foundation’s COVIran Barekat. In a recent report, the discrepancies indicate that some of the imported vaccines may have been sent for the terrorist group, Hezbollah.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 34 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 1,706 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Number of daily tests performed in the country continue to decline despite experts advice to have a more active case finding. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 315,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 6,200,296 (+1,706)
Dead: 131,736 (+34)
Critical: 2,471 (-153)
Active Cases: 24,313 (+14)
Total Tests: 42,382,230
Cover: Hadi Zand