A member of COVID-19 Scientific Committee claimed the Omicron is in decline in Iran, “people can breathe now” but warned the situation may go bad after the Persian New Year Holidays. However, breathing has not been easy in most parts of the country. Small floating particles in polluted air across Iran has increased the risk of respiratory issues. Hospitals in Markazi and other western provinces are on high alert.
Meanwhile, Mashhad Medical University reiterated the risk for another surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. An official from the university urged people to receive their 3rd dose as soon as possible and before the holidays. Mashhad, the second major city of Iran and home to “Imam Reza Shrine”, is the host to millions of Iranians every year during holidays. The Islamic Republic encourages people to attend religious places such as “holy shrine,” against experts’ advice on refraining from gatherings.
Furthermore, less and less people receive their vaccination every day. As Islamic Republic Health Minister boasts about “vaccination achivements” and “homegrown shots”, officials in Khuzestan say more than 1.5 million have not received any shot while that number is 3 million in Tehran! Secretary of COVID-19 Scientific Committee emphasized now is the time to increase administration of vaccines. Considering the second dose efficacy reduces over time, and may even end in 6 months, majority of people in Iran are not vaccinated.
According to official definition of “full vaccination” and Ministry of Health data, since February 9, only 24,188,461 (28.79% of Iran population) are vaccinated against COVID-19 with these vaccines. It is estimated that more than 53 million Iranians are at risk of contracting Omicron. The majority of shots used in Iran are the ineffective Sinopharm and COVIran Barekat. WHO recommends 3 doses of Sinopharm to be effective against Delta but studies have found the vaccine ineffective against Omicron.
The Islamic Republic “Supreme Leader” banned the reliable US and UK made vaccines, leading to tsunami of deaths during Delta wave. Khamenei promoted his foundation’s shot, COVIran Barekat, which failed miserably. Multiple “homegrown” vaccines, including PastoCoVac, COVPars, Fakhra, Noora, Spikogen, never met the expectations and none of them has published their results or received recognition/approval from international health organizations.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 168 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 6,426 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Number of daily tests performed in the country continue to decline despite experts advice to have a more active case finding. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 324,000 have died of the disease since February 2020.
Total: 7,096,318 (+6,426)
Dead: 138,116 (+168)
Critical: 3,572 (-150)
Active Cases: 221,626 (-3,235)
Total Tests: 47,808,284
Cover: Ali Haddidi-Asl