1,294 new cases and 91 deaths in the past 24 hours are today’s official numbers for Iran’s Coronavirus crisis. The daily deaths number is going up but at the same time they keep the “recovered” numbers high enough to get a mortality rate of around 8%! However, as mentioned days before, the numbers are all over the place, which requires a dedicated article for itself. While the government has opened up almost all business but a few “high risk” ones such as barbershops, hair salons, gyms,… the one criteria that is indicative of an epidemic being under control or not, is not that optimistic. Reproduction rate which is a very variant number depending on the model used and the quality of data predicts a disaster in the next few weeks/months for Iran. But as the Ministry of Health Spokesman had said before, “We’re just buying time.”
Reproduction rate (R0) shows how contaigeous a disease is, for example, R0=2.2 means a patient with that disease could transmit it to an average 2.2 other people before he/she recovers. Any number above 1 indicates the epidemic is still ongoing and the curve is not flat! When it reaches below 1, it means the disease is under control. That’s why Germany, with R0=0.7 is reopening the country gradually and the government warns if this bounces back to 1.2, the healthcare system will reach a crisis point.
Estimating this number for Iran is very hectic and unreliable, not because it would be way off chart, because it would be underestimated. It’s been established many times in our daily reports throughout this 62 days from the official first case, that the official data coming out of Tehran is not to be trusted. But since there is no other source, we used the numbers announced by officials and estimated the current R0 in Iran.
R0 depends on many factors including transmission rate, when the first case was known, how many are recovering, population, the time between infection and recovery and so on, and there are different models to use. We used the model used in this peer reviewed article and compared it with other models, reaching to today’s R0 in Iran. The median reproduction rate in Iran is estimated to be around 1.22. This is while according to a study published in March about R0 in Iran, “The value of reproduction number was estimated 4.86 in the first week and 4.5 in the second and decreasing from 4.29 to 2.1 in the third and fourth weeks.” This number has been reached based on falsified numbers of the Islamic Republic regime, but even so, it indicates another catastrophe is on the way.
Tests: 353,012 at 126 labs
With today’s data, Iran passed China (the origin of the disease) in the number of infected.
In the meantime, Rouhani keeps telling the same lies and contradicts himself. He says, “Stay at home”, while the companies and government offices are open around the country, and people have to go to work! However, the mosques and gatherings are still banned, which would cost the theocratic government dearly, since their whole base is built on “mourning Shia Imams” and Ramadan. All holy shrines would be closed for at least another 2 weeks.
Photo: Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua, via Getty Images