Eid Fitr gatherings and crowded Prayers ceremony continues to be a big concern for health experts across Iran. According to the Islamic Republic officials, the Prayers are allowed all around Iran and encouraged to be attended. However, in series of strange decree-like statements, the same officials and Ministry of Health demand people not to see each other during the Eid holidays, from Thursday to Saturday. Travel ban has been implemented between provinces from today, however, like Persian New Year holidays, public transportation such as buses and trains are not subjected to this restriction! In the meantime, Khuzestan remains the main focus due to residents’ traditions, and officials warn that a week after Eid, hospitals will be filled with patients if protocols are not followed strictly.
Islamic Republic Health Minister trumpeted his “victory” in “escaping from the UK variant of coronavirus.” Saeed Namaki, however, admitted the fourth wave is not finished yet. He added, Indian coronavirus is not as much of a concern as the UK variant, because India’s healthcare system is not that advanced! He also expressed his worry over the South African variant, which has been confirmed in Hormozgan. The fourth wave of COVID-19 in Iran killed at least 12,903, according to official undercounted figures. Iran Medical Board estimates the real numbers are at least 3 times higher.
One of the major causes of the fourth wave was allowing travels during Nowruz holidays. On the very first day of holidays, Ministry of Health began updating the “high risk” areas list and issuing hefty fines for travelers! Today, Sima Sadat Lari admitted the Ministry of Health and Police have forfeited their share of income from the fines during the holidays and everything went to Islamic Republic Planning & Budget Organization. Ministry of Health Spokesperson confirmed the COVID-19 related fines have generated more than 572,611,300,000 Toman for the government since March 22. She also confirmed a case of Brazilian coronavirus variant in Iran for the first time! Sadat Lari confessed one of the main problems in controlling the virus has been religious gatherings and said these gatherings could lead to mutations originated in Iran, like they have in other countries! Lari also revealed that Basij forces have been paid for participating in “martyr Soleimani” plan and will be paid for taking part in future “vaccination program.”
Islamic Republic officials continue their contradictory comments and lies about COVID-19 vaccination. National Task Force Spokesman claims by tomorrow, all Iranians over the age of 80 will be vaccinated! Dr. Raisi added by the end of week, if more vaccine arrives, 75+ will be next which are about 970,000! He announced more than 2million are in 70-75 range whom are next in line. He admitted to corruption and out-of-turn vaccination in some medical universities. Raisi continued, there is a potential for 1million dose per day administration which is necessary for when domestic vaccines enter the market! He estimated the entire population to be immunized in a year. He had previously claimed that was achievable by March 20, 2022.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Mirzabeigi, Chairman of Iran Nursing Board Organization, criticized the Ministry of Health for not prioritizing nurses, especially the ones in nursing homes to receive vaccines. He also rebuked the system for not hiring nurses for the crisis and instead treat them like slaves in the hospitals, with more than 80 hours per week shifts and no overtime benefits! He stated only 2-3,000 new hires were done from 53,000 permit that was issued! Mirzabeigi made it clear that nurses must be vaccinated before they would be able to administer it to others. On Saturday, Vice-Chairman of Supreme Council of Nursing revealed thousands of nurses are waiting to be vaccinated.
“Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order,” directly under Khamenei’s supervision and responsible for “COVIran Barekat” COVID-19 vaccine, announced manufacturing of its first batch (300,000 doses), only 15 days after the third phase of its clinical trial had begun. According to its CEO, in the next 10 days, 1million doses will be ready, and by June 22, 4million. Mokhber, without providing any details or scientific data, claimed “COVIran Barekt is one of the best in efficacy and safety in the world” and Ministry of Health must help in paving the way for exporting the vaccine! Dr. Minoo Mohraz, one of the main leaders in the development of the vaccine declared there is no need to imported vaccines anymore! She repeated the same claims about the safety and efficacy without offering any data.
All of these claims and victorious speeches when only 1,882,725 shots have been administered across the country since February 9. Official data indicate merely 312,137 are fully vaccinated in the past 91 days. Iran is behind almost all rival neighboring countries.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson presented her daily manipulated data. Sima Sadat Lari claimed 307 died of COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours while 18,133 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. She did not mention any specific variant details. As graphs show, the crisis is not even close to a happy ending!
Total: 2,691,352 (+18,133)
Dead: 75,568 (+307)
Critical: 5,522 (-11)
Active Cases: 471,587 (+821)
Tests: 17,343,586 (20.6% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)