Kianoush Jahanpur announced 2,089 new confirmed cases and 133 deaths in the past 24 hours. As usual in the past week, the numbers reduce predictably while locals report a different story and much more dire situation is expected in the next 7-10 days. Haj Babaei, Deputy Health Minister in Treatment Affairs was the one in press conference today. I guess he drew the short straw to be telling lies in front of reporters.
After 44 days, the “parliament” convened a meeting in which Minister of Health, Interior Minister and Director of Office of Management and Budget reported on their respective departments actions and plans combating Coronavirus.
Graphs and live map could be found here.
Haj Babaei said, “The critical patients are recovering slower and therefore all ICU beds are occupied, close to 4,000.” Less than a week ago, Rouhani said: “Not only the usual beds but ICU beds are empty in many cities as well. We have a total of 6,800 ICU beds, 4,000 of them are being used.” And this is what Jahanpur said a week earlier than that: “all 2500 ICU beds in the country are full.” The rest of his press conference had nothing new but criticizing the parliament members for not following the “social distancing” protocols in their meeting.
In that meeting alone, 11 members tested positive for COVID-19. The Health Minister did not hold back in lying through his teeth. The only reporters allowed were from the IRIB, state-owned TV and radio. Saeid Namaki said after they found out about what was happening in Wuhan, China, they had meetings about it and sent directives to medical universities around the country. He also admitted that they had the universities ready for Coronavirus testing in early January, contrary to what they had always claimed that they didn’t have the kits or they didn’t know about the cases till Feb 20!
He continued, “I have to tell you some things in a closed meeting. What happened in Qom and Gilan were two different things. 23 epidemiology teams are investigating the source of the virus (in the country).” He then said, “Where the virus came from is not important right now and it’s not up for discussion today.”
This is opposite of what Jahanpur, the Ministry’s spokesman, had said on March 28: “According to our investigations, it seems like the first cases entered the country early January. Qom was the first place a case was seen or we may have 2 different ground zeros, one Qom and one Rasht, Gilan province.”
Namaki continued, “It’s Islamic Republic’s source of pride that nobody has been turned back from hospitals even during the peak.” Many local reports indicated quite the opposite of this statement. Many videos has circulated on social media platforms showing people falling on the ground with ambulance services not attending to them in time and some were outside hospitals, including this one:
He admitted to one thing: “We’re in managing stage of the crisis, not controlling or containing it. Don’t be fooled. We’re trying to control it by mid-May in some provinces.” Contrary to what Rouhani had said days before, and insisting on going back to normal by Saturday, April 11.
In this meeting, the bill signed by more than 80 representatives to close the country for 1 month was declined to come to the floor for a vote. Why? Because it wasn’t proposed by the government!!
In the meantime, US Department of State called Islamic Republic’s attempts to get US sanctions lifted to combat COVID-19 as an SCAM, and rightfully so. You can find the full statement from Spokesperson’s office, here. Despite this statement, Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the regime, and his propaganda machine in the US (NIAC), don’t stop bringing it up in their tweets.
After Khamenei “allowed” using people’s money for people’s safety, now people want to know how this money is going to be used by the government. Will they come to their senses and put people’s lives ahead of regime surviving the crisis? They didn’t and can’t afford to quarantine cities but at least don’t make people go back to work! This is about life and death!