While many countries, including US, Germany, Canada, UK, France,… are struggling to supply enough coronavirus for their people, Islamic Republic Foreign Minister accused them of hoarding vaccines “3 times more than their needs.” Javad Zarif also claimed despite all sanctions “just like we built missiles, we made coronavirus vaccines too.” Islamic Republic has not made any vaccine yet, and its COVIran Barekat has just started its combined second and third phases of clinical trial. There has been speculations that the vaccine is a rebrand of Sputnik V, which on itself have drawn many criticisms. Cubans are testing their vaccines on Iranians, so Islamic Republic could label it as “Iranian” vaccine.
On the other hand, with less than 0.5% of Iranians having received 1 dose of Sputnik V or Chinese Sinopharm, President of Islamic Republic spouted off that the regime has done a great job in providing vaccines for Iranians! Rouhani ordered Saeed Namaki to make sure vaccination process is “as transparent as the statistics and health protocols” have been since the epidemic began in Iran 13 months ago. It’s worth noting, the figures provided by the Ministry of Health have been criticized and even officials have admitted the real numbers are at least 3-4 times higher. They have also been definitively proven to be manipulated to fit the regime’s agenda during different times. The vaccination process has already created doubts about its fairness and transparency. For instance, parents of martyrs were prioritized over people with underlying condition, and some other received it out of turn.
Today, the “biggest vaccine factory in the region” was inaugurated by the head of “Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order,” responsible for manufacturing COVIran Barekat. Mokhber claimed at this post, the factory will begin to produce 3 million doses of coronavirus vaccine every month. However, Jalili, head of the research group developing COVIran Barekat, said today, a small semi-industrial site is beginning to work, producing 1-2 million doses of the vaccine! Both officials were talking about the same center!
5 days to the Persian New Year and when thousands of Iranians have begun their end of the year vacations, the National Task Force released the names of red and orange counties where traveling to/from is banned, except via public transportation with negative coronavirus test results. Despite yesterday’s announcement, today 9 counties are considered “red” and 31 as “orange.” Traveling to blue and yellow counties is allowed, however, officials just keep asking people not to take any trip!
Khuzestan continues to be in a devastating situation and include 8 of the red counties. However, head of Ahvaz Medical University warned the number of red counties may increase any moment. Abolnejadian reported ICU beds are at full capacity and number of hospitalizations has not decreased. Kohgiloye-Boyerahmad’s Gachsaran is the 9th red county in Iran while officials have sounded the alarm for the rise in infections, announcing the province will not be playing host this season. Hormozgan’s situation deteriorates by the day, with spike in confirmed cases of UK variant, worrying the officials. Kermanshah reported 10 new cases of UK variant, quarantining a village. Markazi is the new addition to the list of risky provinces. According to officials, last week’s COVID-19 deaths have increased 50% from the week before.
Sima Sadat Lari announced 100 COVID-19 deaths in Iran in the past 24 hours while 7,980 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Daily PCR tests reached its highest level after 13 months of epidemic. Critical and active cases continue to rise, as seen on the graphs.
Total: 1,754,933 (+7,980)
Dead: 61,330 (+100)
Critical: 3,839 (+8)
Admitted: 194,302 (+1,067)
Tests: 11,781,317 (14.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Coveer: Morteza Zangene