Karaj, capital of Alborz province, with thousands of daily commuters to Tehran is upgraded to “orange” status, a high risk for coronavirus spread! Chairman of Tehran Corona Combating Committee reported Tehran has turned “orange” too. Khuzestan announced addition of 4 more cities to the list of its red cities, the most dangerous category in Ministry of Health classifications. Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad, Lorestan, Kermanshah, Hormozgan, Qazvin reported increasing number of COVID-19 patients and hospitalizations, sounding the alarm for the next wave. Isfahan officials warned the positivity rate has surpassed 40% in many counties and the province has entered the fourth wave! Meanwhile, Hassan Rouhani, President of Islamic Republic, in the weekly National Task Force meeting said, “I think the fourth wave is over, despite whatever is happening and all mutations and variants!”
Immediately after, Raisi, National Task Force Spokesman provided some irrefutable facts for the “President.” He went over the numbers, even though they are criticized on their own merit. “56% of people follow the health protocols. Compared to March 15, red cities have jumped from 9 to 23, orange ones from 31 to 44.” Deputy Health Minister in Public Health confirmed the coronavirus is spreading fast and it’s a new outbreak in many provinces with previously stable condition.
Rouhani’s contradictory comments did not end there. He claimed traveling to northern belt of Iran has decreased 80% compared to last year’s Nowruz holidays. However, a few days ago, Chief of Traffic Police reported 105% increase in trips to Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan provinces. Rouhani also went against his Health Minister. Saeed Namaki had said Ministry of Health would be the only distributor of coronavirus vaccines in Iran, and vaccines would be free for all. But “Mr. President” announced passing of a guideline that private companies would be allowed to import and charge people for the vaccine! FDA had requested private companies to submit their documents few days ago. As if the chaos in vaccination process was not enough already.
FDA Spokesman boastfully bragged about distributing 695,000 doses of Sputnik V, Sinopharm and Covaxin. He admitted till yesterday, only 161,601 doses were actually used, that’s less than 0.1% of 83,000,000+ Iranians, while other countries are speeding up their immunization, Islamic Republic is waiting for its home grown questionable vaccines by June!
But vaccination is not the only chaotic situation in Iran’s COVID-19 crisis management. Islamic Republic has created such confusions that itself does not know which way is up! On March 15, when the new list of red and orange cities with travel ban was released, officials said the list is valid until April 4. However, they kept adding new cities to the list, making an income stream for themselves but trapping Iranians in a dilemma, whether to pay hefty fines or return home and risk spreading the virus! Today, Travel Services Committee announced they will coordinate with the Ministry of Health to stop changing the colors, implying everything is manipulated, no matter the cost for people’s lives. It is worth noting, the colors were supposed to be updated every week based on the number of hospitalizations per 100,000 population.
The Ministry of Health Spokesman continues her daily charade. Even Iran Medical Council have admitted her data are manipulated and the real numbers are at least 3 times higher. Sima Sadat Lari claimed 85 died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Iran while 8,120 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The daily PCR testing reached 68,000 range for the first time since the epidemic began in Iran more than 13 months ago. Critical and active cases keep rising as seen on the graphs.
Total: 1,846,923 (+8,120)
Dead: 62,308 (+85)
Critical: 3,921 (+13)
Admitted: 199,501 (+329)
Tests: 12,550,008 (15.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Seyed Mohammad Alerasoul