Hormozgan is becoming the new Khuzestan with an outbreak of the new UK variant of coronavirus in the province. According to the Medical University Spokesperson, 50% of new daily cases are infected with the British version! Dr Norouzian expressed her worry saying the positivity rate is 13% in the province. She estimated around 50% of healthcare staff have been vaccinated, without mentioning if they have received both doses or just one.
Fars health authorities report an increase in number of critical COVID-19 cases in hospitals, reaching 90. Khuzestan continues to struggle with 9 “red” counties and full hospitals. Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad recorded 12 new cases of UK variant among 20 randomized positive PCR tests. That is 60% of coronavirus cases. Dr Yazdanpanah predicted UK variant will dominate the province in the next month. Dr Zali reported more than 380 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours in the capital, of whom 122 were admitted to ICU, more than 32%! Head of Tehran Corona Combating Committee warned that new stems of UK variants are formed in Tehran, spreading the more dangerous mutated coronavirus across the province.
Iran’s inoculation process remains chaotic and slower than many neighboring countries. Less than 0.5% of Iranians have received a shot of Russian Sputnik V or Chinese Sinopharm, while officials promising more than 4 million doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is to arrive through COVAX program in the next few weeks. However, Islamic Republic officials continue to make absurd claims about the domestic vaccines. Yesterday, Deputy Commander of Ashoura IRGC Base asserted Iranian coronavirus was developed before the US and EU ones, claiming victory and saying “they are in a dreadful situation fighting coronavirus.”
2 days to Persian New Year (Nowruz) and mass traveling has already begun. Roads leading to northern provinces, a destination hub for many travelers during holidays, are congested and since there are only 40 cities in the list of “travel ban” announced by the National Task Force, there is nothing to stop people. Shahriari, head of Health Commission at Islamic Consultative Assembly, rebuked National Task Force and President Rouhani for defying the Health Minister and greenlighting travels to “yellow” and “blue” cities.
Nowruz is the time for family gatherings and usually low-risk prisoners are allowed to leave for the ceremony. But Islamic Republic has forbidden political prisoners to go on furlough, even transferred some of them to far prisons as an additional punishment. Amnesty issued a warning that Iranian prisoners, especially political prisoners, are forgotten amid the coronavirus pandemic, arbitrarily being denied for testing, medical treatment and furlough. Saba Kord-Afshari, a political prisoner and women rights activist, recently contracted the virus.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson continues presenting her daily charade by announcing manipulated data. Iran Medical Council officials have admitted the real numbers are at least 3 times higher. Sima Sadat Lari reported 89 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours in Iran while 7,530 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Daily PCR tests reduced by more than 1,000 while critical cases continue to rise. Active cases increased, shaping up the next wave, as seen on the graphs.
Total: 1,778,645 (+7,530)
Dead: 61,581 (+89)
Critical: 3,866 (+7)
Admitted: 195,687 (+125)
Tests: 11,976,428 (14.4% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Pantea Nikzad