Islamic Republic President, in the weekly National COVID-19 Task Force meeting, claimed “Thank God, we are not in the fifth wave (of coronavirus).” Rouhani who had promised 14million vulnerable Iranians would be vaccinated by July 22, changed his mind and admitted there are not enough domestic vaccines available yet but maybe in the next 2 months! He also criticized whomever objecting the high price of the homegrown COVIran Barekat. Rouhani called it a “worthless duplicity” because the price is based on IRR not USD! According to Ministry of Health, each dose of the vaccine is priced at 200,000 Toman ($8 based on free market rate) which is 4 times higher than AstraZeneca. COVIran Barekat has not finished its clinical trials and no result has been published but the Islamic Republic FDA has approved it for public use!
Meanwhile, National Task Force Spokesman repeated his claim that by March 22, 2022 all eligible Iranians will receive at least a shot of a vaccine. Dr. Raisi asserted there will be 7-8million doses of domestic vaccines will be available from “coming months” and the vaccination process will speed up! He did not comment on the long lines, disorganized and chaotic process but said there is no worries and the 70+ age group will receive shots soon! Raisi admitted the Delta (Indian) variant is spreading in the country and 5 provinces, Yazd, Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormozgan, Bushehr and Kerman, are experiencing an uptrend in cases and hospitalizations. He added the overall country’s trend is “declining” but it has slowed down significantly.
While Kerman is going through a breakout, Astan-e-Quds (administration of “Imam Reza” properties in Iran) held a gathering for its employees in the city, next to Qassem Soleimani’s grave! None of the protocols were followed, especially when the crowd were brought in from another province with buses and other forms of public transportation.
Saeed Namaki opened the manufacturing line for the “Iranian version of Sputnik V”, which is claimed to be producing 2million doses per month! The Islamic Republic Health Minister has strong connection to the company producing it. Namaki and regime’s ambassador in Russian had previously announced 60million doses of Sputnik have been ordered and none of it has been delivered as of yet. Jalali, the ambassador, quoted Russian officials “we don’t owe you anything, why health experts object Sputnik V?” Health officials in Iran had criticized the vaccine and said they would not recommend it.
Official data indicate since February 9, total of 5,613,140 shots have been administered and only 1,196,157 (1.42% of population) are fully vaccinated. The gap between first and second doses continue to grow with many missing their set date.
At the same time, Fars officials confirm 4 of the cities are “red” and there is another wave on the way. Dr. Hemmati from Shiraz Medical University confirmed 29 South African (Beta) and 10 Indian (Delta) cases have been identified in Fars. Head of Shiraz Medical University, Dr. Lotfi, made it clear that the fifth wave of coronavirus has begun in southern cities of the province. Khuzestan officials warn the situation is extremely fragile and may change at any moment. Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad sounded the alarm about the increasing number of hospitalizations in the province. Markazi Governor admits COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise. And Hormozgan reports 19% increase in positive coronavirus tests! It is worth noting, only Pasteur Institute in Tehran has the capability to sequence samples for the Delta variant in Iran.
Dr. Tabarsi, head of Infectious-disease ward at Masih Daneshvari hospital in Tehran, admits Delta variant is the cause of outbreaks in southern and central provinces, announcing the fifth wave has already begun. The expert warned that with this strain, each infected individual could transmit it to 8-12 others! He added the capital is in real danger and is not far behind to experience another breakout because two cities close to Tehran, Damavand and Firouzkouh, are already designated “red.”
Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 123 died of COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours while 7,034 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Sima Sadat Lari did not provide any details on variants. Iran Medical Board officials estimate the real number of cases and deaths are at least 3 times higher than the daily reports. Graphs show the forming of the next wave in Iran, for the fifth time in the past 17 months, more than any other country in the world!
Total: 3,157,983 (+7,034)
Dead: 83,711 (+123)
Critical: 3,195 (-24)
Active Cases: 251,568 (-6,198)
Tests: 23,189,724 (27.6% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)