Prior to 1979 Islamic Revolution anniversary on February 10, coronavirus in Iran was “under control”, according to Islamic Republic manipulated data, and immediately after, officials began to warn people that COVID-19 storm was on the way! As Persian New Year, a tradition with thousands of years history, approaches, the storm has turned into a blizzard!
Traveling with personal vehicles to all red, orange, northern provinces, Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashhad is banned. Traveling via any means to red and orange cities which are about 50 at this time is forbidden. But, Friday Prayers in which crowds use public transportation and no social distancing is followed, and fight against “Western tradition of calling spouses with first name” is advertised, are held every week! Deputy Health Minister Harirchi said National Task Force hasn’t made any decision about tours and traveling via air and trains, while there is about 18 days left to the holidays. Reports indicate travel agencies are selling tickets without any hurdle!
The new UK variant of coronavirus is circulating in Iran with new provinces announcing their first cases on a daily basis. Kurdistan and Kermanshah are the new ones joining the list. Kurdistan officials report the first confirmed cases while 3 were suspected. They warned residents to be cautious and follow health protocols more vigorously. Kermanshah announced its first confirmed case of UK variant as a 46-year-old female who has come back from Mahshahr, Khuzestan. Fars reports 12 suspected cases in 7 counties, which 4 of them have been confirmed by Pasteur Institute in Tehran. Dr Hemmati stated there’s probably many more residents infected with the new UK variant in Fars.
Khuzestan’s COVID-19 situation worsens by the day and National Task Force has refused to quarantine the province, causing province’s “parliamentary reps” to question Interior Minister and Health Minister on the reasons. Hospitals are filled with patients, governor of Ahvaz continues to cut power to crowded areas. 2 large shopping malls were sealed. Shoushtar Medical College reports new UK variant spreading throughout province, saying hospitals won’t be able to handle the flood of patients soon. Head of Ahvaz Medical University to take any symptom seriously and go to hospital before the disease progresses!
Tehran officials report increasing number of hospitalizations. Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad announced aggressive coronavirus spread! The province closed off its border with Khuzestan. Ministry of Health Spokesperson characterized the current coronavirus wave as “more aggressive and rebellious than before.” Lari emphasized the new UK variant spreads much faster and following health protocols is the best way to prevent it. Meanwhile, ISNA showcased photos of official gatherings across the country in which no social distancing was observed.
While only 0.02% of population has been vaccinated and the second round of immunization has just begun, Head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Medical Center of the Red Crescent Society said if Hajj is held in 2021, Health Minister has promised to provide the pilgrims with vaccination.
The Ministry of Health’s manipulated data shows 108 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours in Iran while 8,510 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That’s the highest daily death toll since January 4 and most cases since December 12, 2020. Officials have admitted the real numbers are at least 3-4 times higher than what’s reported every day. Testing remains in the same 59,000 range while positivity rate increased from 13.52% yesterday to 14.32%. Active cases continue to rise as seen on graphs.
Total: 1,639,679 (+8,510)
Dead: 60,181 (+108)
Critical: 3,727 (-5)
Admitted: 179,564 (+1,593)
Tests: 10,912,409 (13.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Ali Moaref