Ministry of Health officials announced new numbers and as always undercounting the infected and deaths! 1289 new confirmed patients and 85 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Iran Internation reports 1839 deaths across the country, 286 since yesterday. Tehran (316), Qom (344), Gilan (220), Khorasan Razavi (202), Isfahan (132), Mazandaran (101), are the provinces with most deaths.
Washington Post published a paper showing the mass graves seen by satellites, it is worth reading! Also the paper published on The Atlantic which estimates the numbers to a closer reality. IranTrue has also posted many posts pointing out how devastating the situation really is.
In the past 24 hours, a lot have changed. The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, sent a letter to the Chief of Staff for Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, asking for full force of military to take control of the COVID-19 crisis in the country. He called the outbreak as a “biological attack” and claimed there are some “evidence” to support the idea. While he forgot to mention any of those evidences, he ordered building a “Health & Treatment Base” with assigned roles for each branch of the military. This base would be responsible for building field hospitals across the country to take the suspicious cases of COVID-19 and then transfer to hospitals if they are tested positive.
He wrote, “This could be like an exercise in biological defense and increase our nation’s power and strength.” Bagheri announced today, that all this would be done in a day and EVERY SINGLE Iranian will be seen, identified and examined within the next 10 days. He also said, all stores will be closed in the focal provinces (meaning big cities of capital Tehran, Qom, Mashhad, Rasht, Isfahan, Arak). Already troops have been deployed to different points in the country to put up roadblocks and close off the entrance/exits.
A few points about all this:
1- Why now? Islamic Republic regime, particularly Khamenei, refused to acknowledge the existence of the virus in Iran, while in fact it was brought into the country by Mahan Air flights from China to Qom. Interestingly enough, those flights are still running! They hiding the whole thing caused the virus to reach at least 10 other countries, including US, Canada, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Georgia, Armenia. So, if there is really an attack, Islamic Republic is the one responsible. That’s what Bahrain’s Interior Minister has claimed as well and said it is a crime according to International Laws.
2- When all experts, domestic and international, were saying Qom should be quarantined, why did the regime refused to do so, and now doing so for such a much vaster area and huge population?
3- Bagheri said, the Armed Forces including Basij, would be going door to door to asses every Iranian. The question is, how is that possible exactly? You have been unable to reach and help people hit with earthquake or severe flood but you wanna do this “assessment and management” within 10 days?
4- Some opposition members are worried this is all a ruse to identify, arrest and punish the protesters. Some other believe this could be a precursor to a coup by IRGC in order to overthrow Rouhani and take control of everything altogether, and some say this is to prevent future uprising and this is a martial law!
Meanwhile, it’s strange that on the same day, all Iranian officials started talking about US must lift sanctions so they could combat Coronavirus. However, China has been sending medical supplies, France and Germany as well. WHO sent tons of stuff and Japan just helped them with $25 million. All the supplies have ended up in the black market with exorbitant prices. Iran attacked US troops in Jan, allocated 200 million Euros to IRGC Quds, and send help to Iraq, Yemen and Syria regularly, why would US lift the sanctions if the regime is able to do all those other things?! Its people are not worth it? All of this to play the victim to get the sanctions lifted?! What about the people?
Let’s just hope something remains of Iran after this cult of liars and terrorist are overthrown, sooner than later.