On September 24, the Iranian health ministry announced that the distribution of flu vaccine was underway, but said since there is currently fewer than 1.5 million doses available, priority will be given to the vaccination of high-risk groups such as pregnant women, the elderly and those with serious ailments. On the same day, however, it was revealed that the clinic at parliament had received 1,500 doses of the flu vaccine. This led to an outcry on social media, where people accused the government of valuing the lives of high officials more than the lives of ordinary people.
A few hours later, the health ministry’s director of public relations Kianoush Jahanpour provided an explanation that was unlikely to calm the outrage. “In the first phase, 1.5 million doses are available for high-risk people,” he said, speaking on behalf of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration. “It should be expected that the medical centers of various institutions, including the parliament’s clinic, might receive vaccines in this phase as well.” In other words, not only will Iran’s 290 members of parliament receive the vaccine, but it is likely that other government institutions might also receive them during this crucial first phase, at a time when Iran has less than 1.5 million doses.
Following the outcry, parliament announced that it was returning the 1,500 doses of flu vaccine it had received. However, this did not bring an end to criticism since, in many people’s view, over the last few months there has been ample evidence of government officials demonstrating that they consider their own lives to be more precious than those of ordinary people.
Aside from the flu vaccine revelation, another recent example came from Mahmoud Vaezi, President Rouhani’s chief of staff. “If I am infected and I am forced to remain at home for 14 to 21 days, it would not be very disruptive, but if the president is confined to his home for 14 or 21 days then the country will be bound to suffer,” he said.
Pointing out that in all countries between eight and 12 percent of hospitalized Covid-19 patients die, First Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said that in Iran, “50 percent of patients who are sent to ICU die, as do close to 90 percent of ICU patients who have to breathe using a ventilator.”
Harirchi reported that in some Iranian provinces, including Isfahan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad and East Azerbaijan, coronavirus cases are rising and the situation is “near explosive.”
Of the 37 residents in one senior citizens' home in Yasuj in the province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, 30 people have been infected with coronavirus and five of them have died, reported Mohammad Yazdanpanah, president of Boyer Ahmad Health Center.
Nine cities in the province of Khuzestan — Ahvaz, Omidiyeh, Aghajari, Behbahan, Abadan, Shushtar, Bagh-Malek, Khorramshahr and Izeh — are in a red state of alert, reported Farhad Abolnejadian, president of Ahvaz University of Medical Sciences.
In 22 cities in the province of Isfahan, excluding Kashan, Aran and Bidgol, more than 1,330 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized, 900 of them in the city of Isfahan, reported Dr. Tahereh Changiz, president of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. “Isfahan is not in good shape,” she said.
According to Dr. Changiz, every day an average of 1,000 patients die in Iran, 200 of them from Covid-19. “Six point five percent of Iran’s population live in Isfahan province and, therefore, it would be logical that 6.5 percent of 1,000 people would die in Isfahan, but the daily coronavirus death toll in Isfahan is between 35 and 45, a very high number,” she said. “This figure includes both suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases, whereas the national statistics include...[only] confirmed cases.”
In the last 24 hours, with 22 new confirmed cases, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the province of Zanjan reached 372. In the same 24 hours, three coronavirus patients died, increasing the total death toll in the province to 491.
In her daily briefing for September 25, the health ministry spokeswoman Dr. Sima Sadat Lari announced the official coronavirus statistics for the last 24 hours:
Dr. Lari also reported that out of the 31 Iranian provinces, currently 24 provinces are in a red state of alert and five provinces are in an orange state:
This is part of IranWire's coronavirus chronology. Read the full chronology