Tehran, Iran – Presidential elections are scheduled for Friday in Iran, as the country continues to fight the fourth wave of the coronavirus epidemic.
Iran with the deadliest outbreak: In the Middle East, more than three million cases have been reported, including 82,000 deaths.
The fourth wave of infections was reported In late March, tens of millions of Iranians were allowed to travel internally during the New Year holidays, and new strains of the virus appeared in the country.
Although daily deaths have dropped to about a third of the peak, more than 100 deaths are still reported every day amid vaccines being criticized for being too slow.
It is expected that the presidential elections, as well as the polls of the cities, village councils, parliament, the Assembly of Experts, will have less participation due to public frustration, reformers, moderate candidates, as well as the widespread disqualification due to the epidemic.
COVID has had a significant impact on how the electoral cycle landscape was shaped.
The National Anti-Virus Headquarters health protocols state that election rallies and speeches can be held outdoors, such as stadiums, schools, if each person has an area of eight square meters, the site operates at 30% capacity, mandatory masks, the event closes in two hours. during:
Indoor gatherings were limited to 15 people on a color-coded scale for “red” cities, indicating the severity of the outbreaks, while the limit was set at 20 for “orange” and և 30 for “yellow”.
But those protocols have already been broken because outdoor gatherings did not meet the physical distance requirements for some candidates.
Last week, Frontrunner chief Ibrahim Rice held a large demonstration in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, showing thousands of people crowded together and some unmasked.
During the inquiry, Rice said she had received permission, and the national coronavirus headquarters said the event had broken health records and no penalty had been imposed.
For Friday’s polls, Iran’s Interior Ministry has increased the number of ballot boxes across the country, saying ballots should be placed in the open air where possible to avoid overcrowding, and to encourage voting.
The Ministry of ICT has also launched a program to help voters find the nearest polling station that is not crowded. Voting is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. It can be extended until 2 a.m. Saturday, with the final results expected by noon.
The overnight vehicle curfew has been in place for months, but will be lifted on Friday և Saturday to allow people to drive to and from the polling stations. Travel between regions will be banned on Friday.
Vaccines are dripping
The election comes as coronavirus vaccines are still lagging behind as the country shuts down mass production of locally developed pores.
Some 4.5 million Iranians, more than 5 percent of the population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine imported from Russia, China, and India by the global initiative COVAX.
Officials expect millions of doses to be imported by the end of the year, but are mostly running local banks to vaccinate the country’s 83 million people.
Officials at Saddam, a powerful organization led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which controls production, said it could now produce three million clasps a month and increase production to 11 million a month in the future.
The Razi COV-Pars vaccine, developed by the Razi Vaccine ուկ Serum Research Institute, is also undergoing human trials and is expected to receive emergency authorization soon.
The third vaccine was developed by an organization under the Ministry of Defense is called Fakhravats to honor slain nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – also undergoing human trials.
In addition to the vaccine developed by the Iranian Pasteur Institute in collaboration with Cuba, which is undergoing its third phase of human trials in Iran, it is also planned to be distributed in large numbers.