Islamic Republic propaganda machine is in overdrive these days. After appointment of an IRGC commander and a COVIDIOT as the head of Corona Operations Base, and Arbaeen approaching, everything must “seem better” than previous days. That is why, regime media published a 3-year-old old photo from a hospital in Hendijan, Khuzestan as today’s calm situation in Kish Island’s hospital in Hormozgan province.
In another epic move, the Ministry of Health published its manipulated data indicating the number of PCR tests performed in the past 24 hours at 26,967! A staggering difference with previous days and the “normal” numbers, bringing the positivity rate to 78.29%, breaking records. However, rarely the positivity rate has been mentioned in any national news and it is not a metric that regime officials heed. But, by lowering the number of tests, the infection cases come down too. This type of manipulation has a history right after a new appointment in the COVID-19 related areas. Last year, when Sima Sadat Lari became the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, omitted some data, then pretended to forget announcing some data and eventually, the “norm” changed!
On the other hand, Arbaeen march and gatherings “must be held”, despite Delta raging through the western provinces and Lambda being identified in neighboring countries, including Iraq. While Iran and Iraq have two of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, the Islamic Republic has asked Iraq for “30,000 extra visas” to be issued to Iranians going to Iraq for Arbaeen and pilgrims, bringing Iran’s allotment to 60,000 visas. Even Amir Abdollahian, Islamic Republic Foreign Minister, on his Instagram page posted: “We’re working diligintly to increase the number of visas to Iraq for Arbaeen. We continue our efforts!”
Mr. Health Minister is following Saeed Namaki’s footsteps by trumpeting his lies and praising his own work in his short tenure. Eynollahi admitted the COVID-19 death toll is more than the “8-year holy defense (Iran-Iraq war).” He claimed when he took office, there was no vaccine left but he “could import vaccine from where he couldn’t have imagined!” He didn’t offer more details, however, his statement is in direct conflict with the “US sanctions” excuse regime officials have been using for years to cover up their incompetence. He repeated his claim that 50m doses will be imported by September 22. Sinopharm is arriving in Iran in high numbers but it is deemed ineffective against Delta by experts.
It is worth mentioning, Bahram Eynollahi was one of the signatories supporting Khamenei’s decision to ban US and UK made vaccines. Today, he advocates for vaccination so much that introduced “smart quarantine” plan. He explained the plan as people with “vaccination card” could have laxer restrictions.
While regime officials continue to push for schools reopening, health experts warn that is “illogical” considering Delta transmits faster and does make kids sick as well as adults. Majority of college students remain unvaccinated, even though less than 2 weeks are left to the beginning of the new school year (September 22). Dr. Behnoush of Baharlou Hospital in Tehran emphasized the fifth wave is not over yet and until more people are vaccinated, reopening schools is “not logical.” Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad and Fars reported shocking number of hospitalizations and deaths. 425 were admitted to Yasouj hospitals while 25 died of COVID-19 in Fars in the past 24 hours.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 445 died of COVID-19 in Iran since yesterday and 21,114 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Professor Holakoui of Tehran University believes those numbers must be multiplied by 7 to get closer to reality. Civil Registration Organization data indicate 275,000+ have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs clearly depict the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe inflicted by the Islamic Republic on Iranians in the past 18+ months.
Total: 5,258,913 (+21,114)
Dead: 113,380 (+445)
Critical: 7,418 (-68)
Active Cases: 635,628 (-7,422)
Total Tests: 30,017,378
Cover: Mina Noei