“Tsunami of death” is on its way from Sistan-Baluchestan to other parts of Iran, is the province’s attorney general’s warning to the officials. Shamsabadi expressed his worry over the “humanitarian catastrophe” happening in southeast of the country. He asked the Health Minister to “intangibly control the situation.” He also cited numerous residents’ reports about shortage of health facilities including oxygen generators! Shamsabadi said the number of reported COVID-19 deaths in the province must be multiplied several times. Last Sunday, representative of the province in Islamic Consultative Assembly blamed Saeed Namaki for more than 1,200 coronavirus infections in Sistan-Baluchestan on a daily basis. He even said the Health Minister “does not answer Governor’s phone calls.” Crisis Management Center in the province announced all roads to/from the province are closed and COVID-19 Committee announced the closure of government offices today and tomorrow!
Tehran is not in a better shape, nor is any other province in the country! As predicted, Delta variant is engulfing the entire nation and Islamic Republic is depending on halfhearted “restrictions” based on a flawed “coloring system.” Vice-Chairman of Tehran Corona Combating Committee admitted the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in the capital and if this path continues, Tehran would turn “red” next week. He cited 10% increase in patients in the past week, confirming the capital has entered the fifth wave for a week! Dr. Tavakoli also confirmed the steep rise is a sign that “mutated strain” is the culprit.
Mashhad, the second biggest city in Iran, reported Delta (Indian) variant is circulating in the city and it would turn to “red” status soon. President of Mashhad Medical Board confessed to the abysmal vaccination situation in the country, asking officials to fix the problems as soon as possible. Head of Arak Medical University announced 6 suspected cases of Delta variant identified in Markazi province which is a red alarm for the fifth wave. Khuzestan officials warned about a “slow rise” in cases. However, sharp rise in Fars province forced the authorities to reimpose some restrictions in the capital, Shiraz. Officials in Zanjan called the spike in their infections, “savage onslaught of the virus from south.” Gilan is experiencing the same fate!
Despite all the gloomy reports from across the country, FarsNews, IRGC-affiliated news agency, demanded the Ministry of Health and National COVID-19 Task Force to announce “Muharram protocols,” 40 days in advance! The crowded mourning rituals caused a new wave last year and rarely any of the “protocols” was followed by the participants. Earlier, Islamic Propaganda Organization announced its 100-day plan for the occasion.
On the other hand, vaccination continues too slowly. Most daily doses are allotted for the second shots to preserve the efficacy of the first administered doses, because vaccines were not available for a few weeks. Deputy Health Minister in Education reported that only 40% of medical sciences students have received a shot, promising the rest will be inoculated by fall. It is notable, medical students have been on the front line of fighting the virus in the past 17 months, and previously, Spokesperson for the Ministry had promised all students to be vaccinated by August 22!
According to official data, since February 9, total of 6,032,590 shots have been administered and only 1,596,507 (1.90% of population) are fully vaccinated. Long crowded lines for vaccination continue, especially in Tehran, but Chairman of Corona Combating Committee in capital blames the lines on the worried residents who were looking to receive their second shots before the time-frame passes. Dr. Zali, in an interview, said: “The lines are caused by the people.” He then claimed that the problems will be rectified in the next few days and there is no shortage anymore!
In the meantime, FDA Spokesman announced PastoCoVac, the Cuban Soberana 02 COVID-19 vaccine which was being tested on Iranians, has secured the “emergency use” approval from the Ministry of Health. COVIran Barekat was the first to get the thumbs up, despite its ongoing third phase of clinical trials and no published results.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson presented her daily engineered figures, despite being criticized at all fronts. Even Iran Medical Board officials believe the real numbers are at least 3 times higher than what is reported. Sima Sadat Lari announced 11,748 tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours in Iran and 137 died of COVID-19. She did not mention any specifics about the variants. Daily PCR tests were significantly reduced, as seen on the graphs, while positivity rate reached 12.13%, a dramatic spike in the past few weeks.
Total: 3,204,557 (+11,748)
Dead: 84,264 (+137)
Critical: 3,183 (+7)
Active Cases: 243,465 (-2,956)
Tests: 23,635,679 (28.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Mohammad Mohsenzadeh