For the second consecutive day, Iran’s official Covid-19 death toll was below 100. At the same time, the governor of Iran’s Central Bank announced that Iran had made a down payment to procure a coronavirus vaccine.
Governor of the Central Bank Abdolnaser Hemmati said a prepayment for 16.8 million doses of vaccines from COVAX, an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), had taken place on the first day after the new year holidays.
He described the provision of the funds to the WHO agent in Switzerland as a complicated operation because they had to get around United States sanctions on Iran and Iran's lack of access to the dollar system. The Central Bank’s International Affairs Department, two Iranian banks and three European banks contributed to the operation to finalize the prepayment, said Hemmati. In a post on Instagram, Hemmati did not elaborate on the amount Iran paid. However, he reiterated that the Central Bank had more funds ready to purchase other Covid-19 vaccines if the Iranian health ministry authorized them for use in the country.
The Black Market Vaccine is “Fake”
On January 4 it was reported that vendors in Tehran’s Nasser Khosrow Avenue, where many drug wholesalers do business, are offering a “Russian vaccine” for 1,000 euros. On January 7, Kianoush Jahanpour, spokesman for the health ministry’s Food and Drug Administration, warned that any product with the label “coronavirus vaccine”, whether it is sold on Nasser Khosrow Avenue or on the web, is illegal and fake and could lead to serious repercussions.
Jahanpour labeled vendors who offer such products as “profiteers and dishonest opportunists” and reiterated that such fake vaccines would result in serious health complications, and possibly even death. He urged the public not to use drugs or medication that have not been imported through official channels.
Rouhani Boasts of “Economic Growth”
President Rouhani claimed that Iran witnessed “positive economic growth” in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-September 20, 2020) despite the coronavirus pandemic. “Iran is one of the rare nations that has managed to set a positive economic growth despite the pandemic,” he said. “The government has paid most attention to the underprivileged classes of society over the last two and a half years while the country was under tough US sanctions,” he added, without providing any evidence to support his claim.
Although since late November the number of hospitalizations In Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad dropped from 478 to 160 and the weekly death toll has declined from 33 to eight, provincial officials report that the number of people who had tested positive for Covid-19 had risen and warned that the situation might get worse over the last two months of winter.
It was also reported that three members of one family — the father, the mother and their daughter-in-law — had died from Covid-19 within 13 days. According to provincial officials, every day at least 10 children under 10 years of age with coronavirus symptoms are brought to hospitals in the province; fatalities include teenagers as well.
Eight people confirmed to have Covid-19 died in Golestan in the 24-hour period spanning January 5 and January 6, and officials from Golestan University of Medical Sciences described the situation in the province as “fragile”. Currently, 449 coronavirus patients were hospitalized across the province, 92 of them in ICUs.
In the last 24 hours, 31 more people with Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in Ardebil, bringing the total number of hospitalizations in the province to 216, 64 of them in ICUs. During the same time period, 30 coronavirus patients were discharged from hospitals in Ardebil.
In Kermanshah, a further 43 people with Covid-19 symptoms were hospitalized in the last 24 hours and 38 were discharged. Currently 174 coronavirus patients are hospitalized across the province, 53 of them in ICUs, and seven of those patients were breathing using ventilators. No new fatalities have been reported and the death toll in Kermanshah currently stands at 1,430.
In the last 24 hours, two more people with Covid-19 died in Alborz, but provincial officials say the situation in the province has improved in the last few weeks. Currently 324 people with suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus are hospitalized in Alborz, including 33 who had been admitted in the last 24 hours. The official death toll in the province since the coronavirus outbreak had reached 2,602 by January 6.
Iran’s Latest Coronavirus Statistics
In her daily briefing for January 6, the health ministry spokeswoman Dr. Sima Sadat Lari announced the official coronavirus statistics for the last 24 hours:
Dr. Lari reported that currently four Iranian cities are on red alert, 43 cities are in an orange state of alert and 401 are yellow.
This is part of IranWire's coronavirus chronology. Read the full chronology