The crisis in Hormozgan, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, East & West Azerbaijan, Lorestan, Zanjan, Bushehr, Kerman, Sistan-Baluchestan, Tehran and Khorasan Razavi is out of control. Officials can’t impose strict restrictions due to economic concerns and unrest like what happened in November 2019, but on the other hand, if this pace keeps on, only more and more would lose their lives. The worst part is, despite what many had thought that this coronavirus wouldn’t affect children as much, recent deaths in Hormozgan could provide new evidence to the contrary. After 2 children, 2 and 10, have passed away because of COVID-19 in Hormozgan, yesterday an infant, only 11 months old, died of the novel coronavirus infection, when none of them had any preexisting conditions. Despite what Namaki had said, 2 days ago that the 10 year old died because she was “overweight”, head of Hormozgan’s Medical University said, “None of the children had any prior condition contributing to their death.”
With no travel restrictions, the virus is spreading through cities and provinces. Fars is next on the list of critical provinces. Acting head of Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad’s Medical University said the cases are rising in the province and people should take it seriously and follow health instructions. He added, “This is alarming.” Ardebil is also sending worrisome signs that infection has spread throughout the province, transforming it to a “red” zone. Head of Ardebil’s Medical University said, “On average, we have about 13 new admissions every day.” He said, “We need to have 65% of the population infected in order to reach “herd immunity” and about 40% to pass the peak. More than 55% of suspected patients have had positive test results in the past 3-4 weeks while this number was 36% in the last week of March.” He added, “While people need to adapt to coronavirus for at least another 2 years, 1 out of 20 are following the health protocols.” His statement about the 10 fold decrease in the number of COVID-19 deaths in Ardebil in March-April compared to these days was interesting. “We used to have 7 deaths per day on average but now it’s less than 1 a day. We had about 300 admissions and now it’s less than 100!” If that’s the case, the death numbers don’t match with what Ministry of Health was giving out in March-April. Considering Ardebil’s population and these stats, the real number of deaths in the first 2 months of the epidemic must have been much higher. He continued, “3,658 have been admitted to our hospitals since the epidemic started and 3,212 have been discharged.” That means a total of 446 deaths in Ardebil. With an average of 7 deaths per day, that means 446 deaths have happened in the first 63 days only! So what about the other 60 days from then on?!
Although, we have established all numbers provided by officials are fake and manipulated, but still, even after 4 months and the catastrophic results, one might think they could change something in their approach! Maybe providing real figures could shock people just enough so they’d follow the rules more. But on the other hand, if they admit to their lies, they risk losing their grip on power. Islamic Republic has actually put itself in a zugzwang!
Iraj Harirchi, Deputy Health Minister, says people have lost their belief in efficiency of healthy habits in COVID-19 prevention. He said, “In some cities, people are following health principles 70% and in Tehran 7-11% less than April. If the situation continues like this, we’ll have a much bigger problem in fighting the virus.” But people have no other choice. When regime had the chance to keep the restrictions, they lifted all of them so suddenly that everybody thought everything was OK. Two days ago, Saeed Namaki, the Health Minister, said 87% of deaths was due to a preexisting condition, but today, head of Center for none-communicable diseases said, “At least 40% of people who died of COVID-19 had a none-communicable disease. They include, in order, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, hypertension and others.”
Yazd, Zanjan and Kurdistan are struggling with the soaring number of cases as well. Tehran’s Friday Prayers have been canceled for this week, another indication that capital is on its way to even worse situation. Islamic Republic doesn’t cancel the regime’s weekly propaganda podium for no reason! Taft’s Governor has given us another piece of information. According to Alireza Nokar, the average national “immunity” to the virus is 16%, in Yazd province is 22% and in Taft it’s 10%! According to the epidemiologist in charge at the National Task Force, to achieve “herd immunity”, 65% of the population should contract the virus. The math is not that difficult to see how long that might take and how many more Iranians may lose their lives in the process.
Sima Sadat Lari, the Ministry of Health Spokesperson, announced 2,445 new cases and 121 deaths have been confirmed in the past 24 hours. That’s 1,133 Iranians in the past 10 days, an average of 113.3 per day. The devastating impact of all these deaths on each family is unimaginable. However, Islamic Republic officials are happy about their achievements. Rouhani said today, “We must make a documentary of our achievements in the past 41 years to show people around the country. Many don’t know what we’ve been doing in regions other than their own.” Or Mohammad Ali Abtahi wrote a piece in Iran daily newspaper, the official government’s newspaper, saying, “Management of Corona showed us the country and officials could be united. Make that the model for everything else in the country.” Isn’t this fascinating?! Going through our daily reports, chaos is one of the first words that would come to mind.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) and graphs show the human catastrophe going on for more than 123 days.
Total: 209,970 (+2,445)
Dead: 9,863 (+121)
Critical: 2,846 (-52)
Admitted: 30,947 (-409)
Tests: 1,475,331 (Number of labs wasn’t mentioned in today’s news. Officials may have finally figured out there are discrepancies when they lie.)
Cover: Arya Jafari/ISNA