COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, amid concerns for the sixth wave of the deadly disease in Iran. Less than 40% of the population is fully vaccinated with ineffective vaccines, more than 82% with the unapproved Sinopharm. About 50% of the students 12-17 years old have received 2 doses of the same vaccine. While health experts believe at least 85% of Iran must be fully inoculated in order for the restrictions to be lifted and schools reopened, and physicians oppose the reopenings due to spread of common cold and flu in addition to the coronavirus, but the Islamic Republic insists the schools must resume by mid-November.
Dr. Tabarsi, member of Scientific Committee of the National COVID-19 Task Force, reiterated the 80+% vaccination to lift restrictions and reopenings. He criticized the government for low number of testing and weak case findings. He added the borders must be controlled more carefully, mentioning Turkey is the height of a peak and any passenger could cause a breakout. The infectious-disease specialist emphasized, even the 85% vaccination does not mean the end of pandemic! He asked the government to slow down the reopening of schools and businesses, “If a wave begins, it’s very difficult to control it.”
Dr. Younesian agrees with Tabarsi and warns about premature reopenings. The epidemiologist confirmed eastern provinces are experiencing a surge in their cases and hospitalizations, signaling the sixth wave has begun.
Meanwhile, Mazandaran officials report a surge in their cases, so did Fars authorities. Khuzestan warned about the concurrent spread of allergies, flu and COVID-19. Officials sounded the alarm for the sixth wave of the novel coronavirus. Deputy Health Minister in Treatment Affairs confirmed several cases of flu in the country, and predicted the numbers would rise. Dr. Jan Babaei asked physicians not to prescribe steroids for any outpatient, since they could be detrimental to a flu patient. Tabriz Medical University announced an uptick in the numbers, “the sixth wave is quite possible.” City of Rafsanjan in Kerman province recorded upward trajectory in hospitalizations and outpatients during the past week. Tehran is no exception, and according to Dr. Tavakoli of the capital Corona Combating Committee, cases are increasing and daily death toll remains in 2-digit territory.
According to the Ministry of Health, since February 9, total of 82,473,271 shots have been administered, while only 30,950,480 (36.84% of Iran population) have received both doses of these vaccines. People of Iran are very skeptical about the vaccines used in the country, since Khamenei banned the reliable US and UK made vaccines.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 156 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 9,096 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 300,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 5,877,456 (+9,096)
Dead: 125,519 (+156)
Critical: 4,184 (-72)
Active Cases: 308,694 (-4,321)
Total Tests: 34,970,103
Cover: Ali Haddadi-Asl