Providing reliable coronavirus vaccines to their populations has become a major concern for many countries. Islamic Republic has been behind others, including Turkey, UAE, Indonesia,… with only a few thousands being fully vaccinated by March 19. According to Our World in Data, 0.15 people per 100 have received a shot of a vaccine. FDA Spokesman announced, so far only 700,000 doses of Sputnik V, Sinopharm and Indian Covaxin have been distributed in the country! He didn’t offer more details about full vaccinations, single dose recepients,… Islamic Republic is not only behind other countries, but it is even behind its own National Vaccination Guidelines in which 1,300,000 were to be fully vaccinated by March 21.
Deputy Health Minister Harirchi warns Urmia, capital of West Azerbaijan, and Bushehr are experiencing a rise in their coronavirus infections. He also announced Firouzkouh and Damavand in Tehran province are upgraded to “red” and the capital has increasing number of COVID-19 cases. As usual, he blamed it all on people going out shopping and not the government relaxing all restrictions prematurely. Deputy Health Minister Raisi reiterated those points saying Urmia may turn red in the next few days. He sounded the alarm for Khansar and Kashan in Isfahan, a few counties in Ilam, Fars, Bushehr, Tehran, Kurdistan, Khuzestan and Lorestan, a total of 26 counties! National Task Force Spokesman added, number of red and orange cities will increase in the next few days. Raisi confirmed Tehran’s coronavirus cases are on the rise.
Meanwhile, Kermanshah Medical University reported increasing number of coronavirus cases. Dr Moradi said 19% increase in hospitalizations in the past 24 hours compared to the day before is alarming and signals the beginning of a new wave. Lorestan Medical University reports 75% increase in cases in March compared to February. Dr. Farhadi warned about spread of the new UK variant in the province. Head of Health Network in Bushehr announced 12.5% increase in cases in the past week from the week before. He confirmed 46 new UK variant cases have been identified in the province.
Traveling during Nowruz holidays has become a chaotic process in Iran. Ministry of Health released the name of new red and orange cities on March 20, while it had already announced them on March 15, allowing people to travel to “blue and yellow” cities. Updating the colors has always been supposed to be a weekly incident, but apparently there will be another update soon. While people are trapped in “red and orange” cities, Mr. Health Minister urges people to go back to their homes as soon as possible! As if returning to origins will reduce the risk of spreading the virus to less risky areas! Saeed Namaki warned the UK variant is circulating in the country which is faster-spreading and deadlier than the Wuhan version of coronavirus.
The Ministry of health Spokesperson provided her daily manipulated data, even though they have been scrutinized at all levels and some officials have admitted the real numbers are at least 3 times higher. Sima Sadat Lari claimed 80 died of COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours while 7,357 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Testing remains in the 60,000 range, a reduced level from previous week. Active cases continue to rise as seen on the graphs.
Total: 1,808,422 (+7,357)
Dead: 61,877 (+80)
Critical: 3,861 (+3)
Admitted: 196,896 (+747)
Tests: 12,221,274 (14.7% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Akbar Badrkhani