The new variant of the novel coronavirus has become the hot topic around the world, Iran is no exception. Islamic Republic officials keep issuing warnings about the dangers of Omicron without an ounce of action. Rapid tests are being used in airports instead of PCR while sequencing has never been a strong suit in Iran. According to Deputy Health Minister, positive PCR tests are “randomly” sequenced to see if Omicron has entered the country!
Chairman of Mashhad Medical Board said Omicron is 4-5 times more transmissible than Delta, which devastated Iran in the fifth wave. Dr. Sedaghat expressed hopes that with higher vaccination rate, the next wave will not be as bad. While Dr. Zali warns that low vaccination is a potential opportunity for the virus to mutate and spread, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Mashhad, Hamedan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Kerman, South Khorasan, and many other provinces report low enthusiasm about vaccines in their eligible population. According to an official, 20% of the eligible are not interested in receiving the vaccines used in Iran.
Yesterday, an official announced that the age limit for the 3rd dose of vaccines has been lifted, however, today, another Ministry of Health official said, the age limit is to avoid crowded centers but will be lifted gradually! Governmental data indicate, since February 9, total of 105,162,208 doses have been administered, of which only 46,683,182 (55.57% of Iran population) have received 2 doses of these vaccines. WHO has recommended 3 doses of the ineffective Sinopharm, the majorly used shot in Iran, to be considered “fully vaccinated,” however, in Iran, only 995,972 (1.18% of population) have been administered 3 jabs.
Secretary of Ahvaz Health Council warned that if the low vaccination rate continues and the 3rd dose is not administered as soon as possible, there will be a new breakout in December-January. Dr. Ahmadi-Baloutaki confirmed that 10% of 18+ have not received any dose and 34% have delays in their second shots!
Despite all the warnings and low vaccination rate, and in addition to reopening schools, universities and businesses, Islamic Republic is to allow concerts to go live too!
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 82 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 4,310 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: 6,113,192 (+4,310)
Dead: 129,711 (+82)
Critical: 3,338 (-9)
Active Cases: 110,040 (-5,965)
Total Tests: 38,654,574
Cover: Ali Haddadi-Asl