As previously reported, Islamic Republic had encouraged people to attend religious gatherings in Ramadan, Muharram and Arbaeen. Now that Arbaeen is over and “pilgrims” are returning to Iran from Iraq, more and more COVID-19 tests turn positive and regime officials are forced to issue denial statements or “explanations” or contradictory remarks altogether! Kerman Governor sounded the alarm earlier today, saying: “In just 1 flight from Iraq to Kerman, a significant number of them have had positive test…This is an alarm for another breakout.” Zeinivand admitted the Islamic Republic lied about land border closures. He said, “Even though a specific number of visa was issued, many crossed the borders without visas!”
A few hours later, IRNA, the official government news agency, edited its headline, removed that part of Zeinivand’s statements and published an “explanation” from the Governor: “Only 9% of pilgrims have been tested and the results cannot be generalized to others!”
On the other hand, head of Health Commission of Arbaeen announced 395,283 people have exited and entered the country for “Arbaeen” through land and sky borders. According to Saaberian, of those, only 6,973 have taken PCR test, while previously, Islamic Republic media had claimed everybody must show their PCR test results before entering Iraq! Of the 6,973 PCR tests, 33 turned positive. At the same time, he recited Kerman officials reporting 27 of 127 passengers receiving rapid tests, have had positive results!
The contradictory statements continued with head of Kerman Medical University expressing his worry about resurgence of COVID-19 in the province with Arbaeen “pilgrims” returning home. Dr. Rashidinejad asked the officials to provide the University with the names and addresses of “pilgrims” so they could be tested. This statement shows the magnitude of disorganization and chaos amid Delta wave which caused a massacre in Iran. Health experts have been warning about the sixth wave beginning in November.
Meanwhile, the “smart quarantine” project intensifies as more provincial officials restrict social services conditional on the “vaccination card!” Many have reported discrepancies between their physical card which they received at the vaccination center with their records on the Ministry of Health portal. In most cases, the physical card shows “Sinopharm” as one dose while it is mentioned as “COVIran Barekat” on the website! Iranians have deep mistrust in the Islamic Republic, causing less and less people showing up for vaccination.
While students and parents are skeptical about the unapproved Sinopharm being administered to children, the National COVID-19 Task Force has decided to reopen schools for in-person classes from November. Universities will resume their classes from next week.
Ministry of Health claims total of 56,596,124 shots have been administered across Iran and only 16,532,554 (19.68% of population) have received both shots of ineffective vaccines such as Sinopharm and COVIran Barekat. The Spokesperson also announced 217 died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 10,135 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 288,000 have died of the disease since February 202. Graphs illustrate the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in the past 19 months.
Total: 5,611,700 (+10,135)
Dead: 120,880 (+217)
Critical: 5,802 (-39)
Active Cases: 415,338 (-12,013)
Total Tests: 32,411,004
Cover: Ali Abdollahi