According to Sima Sadat Lari, 115 more Iranians lost their lives in the past 24 hours and 2,322 joined the ever growing list of confirmed novel coronavirus cases! 123 days have passed and nothing has changed. Rouhani, the Islamic Republic President, as predicted, announced new “decisions” about schools and universities and eased some more restrictions. The contradictions don’t end. He says “We must work, everything is open” and immediately, in 180-degree rotation, continues, “but have to stay home and follow health instructions.” In today’s National Task Force meeting, he said, “We’ve done great in dealing with the virus. We should remain patient and don’t think this is over. This is something that the whole world is dealing with and we’re no exception.”
He’s wrong, Iran is an exception. After hiding the truth for WEEKS about the onset of outbreak; for weeks before and after the official announcement on Feb 19, all officials would call COVID-19 just another Flu; the regime opposed experts and didn’t quarantine Qom and Gilan, the two epicenters because they were afraid of their imaginary enemy and “jinns”; then they covered up the real numbers and still are lying about them; this same “president” would tell people “everything would be normal from next week” several times; then easing the not-so-strict restrictions prematurely on April 11, when still the country was approaching the peak;comparing regime’s response with US and EU and gloating about it on national TV; normalizing death and the situation on a daily basis; the list of their mismanagement of the crisis goes on and on!
While Mashhad officials say about 40% of suspected cases test positive for the novel coronavirus, and Khuzestan cities report full hospitals and request for more supplies, beds and equipment, Hamedan announces the highest number of infections since the onset of the outbreak, Hormozgan is struggling to get a grip on the crisis, Rouhani orders wedding venues and movie theaters to reopen in “yellow” and “white” cities, “but must follow the health directives.” The National Task Force also decides the school year to start 2 weeks earlier for universities and gives full authority to the Education Ministry to reopen schools from August 20 or later depending on the provinces’ COVID-19 situation. Rouhani also said, “We may ask students to go to schools every other day and may have to ask them to go schools on Thursdays too.” Thursday and Friday is the weekend for students.
The “president” also mentioned, “We made a decision about prisons as well which Ministry of Health will send the directive to wardens and if there’s any concern from prisoners, it will be discussed in our security committee.” Another mention of “security committee” in National Task Force against a virus. They have also decide to “take action against people and advertisements saying Corona is over, IRIB and media should act more responsibly.” This is a decision after MONTHS of outbreak in the country! Rouhani also said, “We decided to discuss mandating wearing a mask in all areas in red cities in our next week meeting.” Yes, that’s what he said!
Minoo Mohraz, a member of the National Task Force, one of the advocates for “Corona is another Flu” in the beginning, warned people not to be insensetive to COVID-19 and wear mask at all times. In a piece published in Iran daily newspaper, she wrote, “Don’t go to restaurants. A place where wearing masks is not possible, the chance of contracting the virus is high. The Ministry has written protocols for all businesses but when they’re not followed, what’s the point?!” Isn’t this what we’ve been saying for WEEKS now?! Why did you reopen restaurants and other places for that matter, when there’s no enforcement of the “directives”?!
COVID-19 seems to have found a hospitable environment and doesn’t want to lose this magnificent host. Islamic Republic is in total chaos and doesn’t know what to do, just dealing with it on a day to day basis, with no plan whatsoever. In the meantime, media is covering “more important news”! Basic reproduction rate (R0), growth factors and other indications all point to a crisis with no end unless a significant change is made! If Islamic Republic holds the same line of manipulation and engineering numbers, we’ll have another 2,300 something cases in the next couple of days and then another surge to close to 3,000 and higher.
Total: 202,584 (+2,322)
Dead: 9,507 (+115)
Critical: 2,842 (+9)
Admitted: 31,693 (+15)
Tests: 1,395,675 (Number of labs wasn’t mentioned in today’s news. Officials may have finally figured out there are discrepancies when they lie.)
Cover: Abed MirMasoumi/Friday Prayer in Semnan