Chaos, mismanagement, miscommunication, selfishness, kleptocracy, and corruption are just a few words to describe the current situation in Iran concerning COVID-19 crisis only! While everybody agrees Iran, especially Tehran and other metropolitan areas are in dreadful conditions and it will only get worse as we go deeper into fall and winter, but each official says something different! Even though on paper, National Corona Combating Task Force presided by the President of Islamic Republic has full power to make proper decisions to contain the virus, but in reality, it doesn’t seem like it.
Dr. Zali, head of Tehran Corona Combating Committee says his recommendations for Tehran takes 1-2 weeks to be even considered or passed in the National stage, which by then is too late. “In an epidemic, you may have to change course every day but we don’t have that authority, and National Task Force doesn’t always make decisions that are in line with the needs.” In an interview with Hamshahri, he added, “We must change our approach to managing the virus. We have failed so far.” He said restrictions must be reimposed in Tehran as soon as possible, including remote working and suspending traffic rules. At the same time, Tehran Governor, in another press release: “our “suggestions” to the National Task Force don’t include “remote working” or “suspending traffic rules.”
Dr. Zali also confirmed all our reports and criticism, from continuous rising of infections to full hospitals, from religious gatherings and premature reopenings being main causes of the virus resurgence to not banning traveling between provinces as a failure! He also said, Tehran doesn’t have the needed infrastructure for its own population let alone many people from other cities coming for medical treatment purposes! He added, many of the decisions taken by the National Task Force are either too late or ineffective, including fining people who don’t wear masks. He said, “Wearing mask alone is not effective. We have to make unnecessary travels in the city to absolute minimum! In one short sentence: Tehran is imploding & exploding of COVID-19 at the same time!
This is the situation in the capital, where there are more of everything! Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Qom, Alborz, Zanjan, East & West Azerbaijan, Kerman, Yazd, and the list goes on, all have reported of full hospitals, shortage of equipment, masks, protective gears and staff! In the meantime, Rabiei, Government’s Spokesman blames people again saying “it’s all because people don’t follow protocols.” That’s when Deputy Health Minister says “unfortunately with these prices, many people can’t afford to buy a simple mask.” None of the dreadful news, however, would stop the ever praising Health Minister from praising his actions: “Iran is one of the pioneers in fighting corona!”
Sima Sadat Lari announced her daily manipulated and highly undercounted stats: 3,677 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 207 deaths in the past 24 hours. 30 of 31 provinces in critical conditions and no new plans or restrictions to control the crisis! The number of testings is one of the lowest in the world and only 4.8% of the population are tested, and apparently that has interested Ministry of Health’s General Director for Health Reference Laboratories to increase the capacity of testing in the country, after 223 days since epidemic was “officially” announced.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) increased for the second day in a row, active cases keep setting new records every day and critical cases, even based on Ministry’s highly scrutinized numbers, are nearing the number of ICU beds in the whole country, not just the ones designated to COVID-19 patients!
Total: 453,637 (+3,677)
Dead: 25,986 (+207)
Critical: 4,079 (+11)
Admitted: 48,924 (+1,274)
Tests: 3,986,720 (4.8% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)