Islamic Republic Health Minister claims there is no known case of Omicron variant in Iran, but there has been no sequencing report in the past 22 months of the pandemic! It is also notable, it took the regime weeks to confirm all other variants have arrived in the country, too, including the very first case of COVID-19 in 2020. Eynollahi also went back on his previous claim that “the virus is under control” and “celebrating the end of vaccination”, admitting it is possible for the Omicron to spread in Iran and vaccination does not mean the end of the crisis.
Dr. Souri, former head of “rapid response team” of the Ministry of Health, criticized the regime for focusing on distributing vaccines and leaving all other methods of controlling the epidemic. The epidemiologist warned that if this path continues, there will be next waves. He also rebuked the new Health Minister for dissolving his team, saying without that team, small breakouts across the country are going unnoticed and they will spread everywhere. He, once again, called the current “coloring map” as flawed and misguiding. Dr. Souri believes the current system which is only based on hospitalizations during the past week to be changed ASAP and recommends the Ministry to stop announcing the colors for the cities because they are misleading the people, thinking everything is normal!
Other health experts and officials reiterate the fact that Omicron could lead to the next wave of COVID-19 in Iran. Chairman of Tehran Corona Combating Committee warned that the new strain could easily enter the country via indirect flights from Africa. Dr. Alavi from Ahvaz Medical University expressed his concern over the unvaccinated, saying the risk of Omicron wave is serious.
Head of Health Commission at the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Islamic Republic version of Parliament) also sounded the alarm about Omicron, “possibility of it reaching Iran is very high!” Shahriari asked people to follow protocols but according to official data, compliance has decreased across the country, including in governmental organizations. In metros, only 30% comply with restrictions. In schools, which Islamic Republic pushed to reopen despite many students being unvaccinated or have received the unapproved and ineffective Sinopharm, social distancing is a forgotten measure and masks are often not worn. 18% of students in Khorasan Razavi have refused to receive any shot and 20% of eligible population in Khuzestan remain unvaccinated.
On the other hand, contrary to Mr. Health Minister’s claims, Dr. Jama’ati of National COVID-19 Task Force admitted that 15-20% of eligible population have not received any vaccine! He also announced that the 3rd dose that was only available to 60+ and people with compromised immune system, is now available to everybody above 18. He warned about the next wave with Omicron and encouraged everybody to get a shot. However, since Khamenei banned US and UK made vaccines in January, promoting the failed “domestic” COVIran Barekat, people have lost all trust even in the healthcare system of the regime.
According to official data, since February 9, total of 104,886,372 shots have been administered, of those, only 46,510,395 (55.36% of Iran population) have received 2 shots. In the meantime, merely 967,931 (1.15% of population) are jabbed 3 times.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 80 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 3,781 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 309,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 6,108,882 (+3,781)
Dead: 129,629 (+80)
Critical: 3,347 (-9)
Active Cases: 116,005 (-6,481)
Total Tests: 38,547,658
Cover: Seyed Khalil Mousavi