The second of three “Qadr nights” is here. Crowded gatherings were allowed by the Health Minister during these nights and Eid Fitr, in addition to canceling the night time traffic curfew to encourage even more people to attend. However, the Ministry of Health Spokesperson advises people not to go to these gatherings, the same duplicity strategy the regime used during Persian New Year Holidays which led to the fourth wave of coronavirus in Iran which devastated the entire country.
Students across the country protest against in-person exams forced on 9th and 12th graders for the third day in a row. The students have been going to school online throughout the year, demanding their exams to be online too.
Officials claim COVID-19 momentum has died down but health experts warn the next wave is around the corner since new variants are everywhere. Dr. Zali, Chairman of Tehran Corona Combating Committee, cautioned about the current ups and downs in reported numbers, saying middle of next week would be a better time to judge the situation. He also criticized the intermittent and low volume of available vaccines in the country. Zali emphasized vaccination is the only way to prevent another overwhelming wave of patients and deaths.
In the meantime, National Task Force Spokesman said if a US or UK vaccine is manufactured in another country, there is no problem in importing it! Dr. Raisi added, the private companies could import Moderna vaccine produced in the Netherlands or Germany! That is another setback for the Iranians, since they have been deprived of opportunities to receive reliable vaccines at a reasonable time. Raisi continued, a Chinese company is to send us 3million doses of vaccine but has refused to accept any risk or promise of the delivery time. The Chinese vaccine, which Raisi did not name, apparently has unidentified efficacy rate! The Spokesman admitted, 40% of the vaccines needed for the “National Vaccination” program are to be imported. On January 8, Khamenei banned US and UK made shots, saying “there is no trust in them, they want to test their vaccines on other nations!”
On the other hand, FDA Spokesman in a Clubhouse chatroom rebuked the whole process of importing vaccines through private companies because “it opens doors to corruption.” Dr. Jahanpur claimed some companies has sent in invoices with each dose priced at $50, 12 times more than the actual price. He did not mention the names of those companies but said the private importers must be making deals with manufacturers or countries that Ministry of Health is unable to deal with due to sanctions or other reasons.
According to official statistics, since February 9, only 0.26% of Iran population, 225,530, have been fully vaccinated while 1,251,899 total shots have been administered. Islamic Republic has been one of the last countries to begin its vaccination program!
Meanwhile, other drugs are running out in the market. Insulin, vital for diabetic patients, has been scarce for more than 2 years without a permanent fix. Khorasan Razavi hospitals report shortage of antivirals used to treat COVID-19 patients as well. An official confirmed that other provinces have faced the shortage as well.
Despite officials’ claim that COVID-19 is slowing down, the undercounted and manipulated data of Ministry of Health shows another story. The Spokesperson claimed 391 died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Iran while 20,732 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Sima Sadat Lari has not provided any information about specific variants of positive tests. Iran Medical Board officials have admitted the real numbers are at least 3 times higher than the daily reports. Active and critical cases continue to rise, as seen on the graphs.
Total: 2,555,587 (+20,732)
Dead: 72,875 (+391)
Critical: 5,461 (+18)
Active Cases: 477,763 (+3,557)
Tests: 16,240,345 (19.3% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Iman Hamikhah