Sima Sadat Lari announced 2,182 new cases, 209 deaths and 10 provinces in “red” status. However, for whatever reason, IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), the official government news agency, reported the total number of confirmed cases as 273,653 instead of the correct “official” 273,788. That mistake has made ALL other state-owned or affiliated website to copy and report the same mistake, it even spread to the supposedly “independent” Iran International, a big London based Persian language news agency with a huge audience base in the country. Lari’s daily show has confirmed another change in the routine. The red provinces are said as “like yesterday” and the “alarming” provinces are not mentioned any more, because almost all provinces are in that status. At this time, red, white, yellow, orange and green have lost all its meaning, just like predicted MONTHS ago, it didn’t make any sense whatsoever in an epidemic with no travel restrictions, but Islamic Republic decided to color the map instead of quarantining epicenters.
Even without mentioning the “alarming” provinces, Ministry of Health Spokesperson didn’t mention all the red provinces. It might have slipped her mind to add Tehran and Alborz to the “yesterday’s list”. Alborz’s Medical University designated the province as “red” this morning, and said the uptrend in number of cases and admissions is very troublesome. The head of the university mentioned 815 walk-ins to the hospitals in the past 24 hours with suspected symptoms and said 615 are admitted at hospitals across the province. Like most other provinces, he warned about shortage of healthcare staff, exhausted nurses and not enough ICU beds.
Tehran’s situation is beyond red but officials don’t want to let people in other provinces to know so the economy doesn’t get any worse than it already is, breathing its last breaths. Dr Zali, head of Tehran’s Corona Combating Committee has said it in the past few days that the cases have soared in the province, and specifically in the capital. Head of Health Committee at Tehran City Council, Nahid Khodakarami, said there have been 7,167 COVID-19 victims buried in Tehran’s cemetery, Behesht-e-Zahra. She also said the first death was on February 20, meaning the novel coronavirus had reached Iran “earlier than that, and what officials have announced.” She also said 101 have died of the disease on July 18 in Tehran while 14,000 have been admitted to Tehran hospitals in the past month. She reiterated the surge in numbers is dreadful. If these numbers are even remotely correct, the daily numbers announced by Ministry of Health are once more subjected a broader scrutiny! 101 deaths in Tehran alone while 188 was total in the country on July 18. Considering there were 10 “red” provinces and Tehran was not even mentioned in red status, somethings don’t add up! As a side note, Happy 50th Birthday to Behesht-e-Zahra, Tehran’s Cemetery! July 16 was its “birthday” and a few officials went to Khomeini’s “shrine” to celebrate this fabulous occasion!
Shahid Beheshti Medical University has announced shortage of healthcare staff, asking volunteers to take care of COVID-19 patients at hospitals. However, there aren’t enough masks and other protective gears for hospital workers, they are sacrificing their lives for their patients. Pharmacist Association complains about shortage of medical supplies including masks and FDA head has warned about the shortage in hospitals. At the beginning of the second surge in the country, the government has supposedly banned all “mask exports” but today, at the same time as Zarif’s visit to Iraq, Islamic Republic sent 1 ton of medical supplies including masks to Iraq.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) and graphs show the crisis clearly even though they’re based on manipulated and fake number of the Islamic Republic Ministry of Health, however, the officials rather lie and hide the truth than devise a plan to battle the virus. The catastrophe has been out of control and in chaos but it’s gotten even worse. The border with Turkey that was reopened on July 16, is closed again and all flights are canceled effective immediately, because of the rise in cases.
Total: 273,788 (+2,182)
Dead: 14,188 (+209)
Critical: 3,556 (+27)
Admitted: 21,812 (-515)
Tests: 2,148,999 (Number of labs wasn’t mentioned in today’s news. Officials may have finally figured out there are discrepancies when they lie.)
Cover: Morteza Nikoubazi