According to Khuzestan Governor, 244 have died in Khuzestan in 25 days, from February 8 to March 5. Soleimani-Dashtaki called this dreadful and admitted the new UK variant of coronavirus entered the province from Iraq late January. But the borders were closed after Islamic Revolution anniversary. The inter-province and intra-province traffice were not banned until yesterday, March 6. Markets and downtown area in Ahvaz are drowned in water and lose power every night to prevent gatherings, but the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to grow.
A video released by ISNA from Ahvaz cemetery paints the grim picture from inside the morgue. The interviewees describe the devastating situation in the city and how the COVID-19 deaths have increased in the past few weeks. He said the dead are mostly young, even infants, and there are so many that “we have to work extra hours.” Alireza Vahabzadeh, Advisor to the Health Minister, posted a story on his Instagram about a person losing his mother and sister to COVID-19 in Ahvaz in a week!
Ahvaz Medical University official warns about increasing number of patients leading to a rise in infections among healthcare staff. Dr. Soltani said the staff are under tremendous amount of psychological pressure in addition to physical load. He added, 1/4 to 1/3 of daily deaths in the country are from Khuzestan, and declared the situation as critical. Dr. Yalali from Abadan Medical College sounded the alarm that if this path continues and Khuzestan is not locked down for 2 weeks, the current wave would continue until June and more people would die.
Persian New Year Holidays and traveling during this period have become another chaotic epitome for Islamic Republic officials. While yesterday National Task Force announced only necessary travels are allowed in “yellow and blue” cities, Interior Minister said “there is no ban for traveling in blue and yellow cities if travelers follow health protocols.” In the meantime, it remains unclear whether Mashhad, the second biggest city in Iran and one of the main destinations for travelers, can play host this year. The officials say March 18 is the decision day, by the time which most people are already on their trips.
Other provinces including Hamedan, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Ilam and Golestan continue to report spike in their cases. New cases of UK variant of coronavirus are recorded across the country. Fars Medical University put its hospitals on high alert. Hamedan is worried about UK variant, and a new wave. Kermanshah reports its first death from the British variant of coronavirus. Hormozgan Governor said the spread of coronavirus in the province is worrisome, predicting a bleak future.
Head of Scientific Subcommittee of National Task Force admits Iran is behind neighboring countries in coronavirus immunization, citing non-participation in clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine manufacturers as the reason. Ghane’ei admitted the domestic vaccine won’t be available until June and by then only 6-7 million doses would be imported, while more than 100million doses are needed for the country.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson presented her daily manipulated data, claiming 93 COVID-19 deaths in Iran in the past 24 hours while 8,010 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Iran Medical Board officials admitted the real numbers are at least 3 times higher. Daily PCR tests reaches 61,000, but officials claim more than 100,000 diagnostic tests are performed in Iran. However, Deputy Health Ministry Raisi and head of Pasteur Institute, had said PCR is the golden standard for diagnosis and that’s why it’s used for WHO reports. Critical and active cases continue to rise as seen on graphs.
Total: 1,689,692 (+8,010)
Dead: 60,687 (+93)
Critical: 3,795 (+11)
Admitted: 186,807 (+1,076)
Tests: 11,274,630 (13.5% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)