The National Corona Combating Task Force had its weekly meeting and as usual, Rouhani has created another opportunity for some laughter and anger at the same time. He contradicted himself in many occasions before, and today was no exception. He said, “People should know we will not go back to “normal” any time soon,” quite the opposite of what he had said in March and later on in April. He continued, “The virus has slowed down in the country as a whole but some provinces show signs of uptrend.” Of course, he forgot to mention that more than a third of the 31 provinces have already announced their “alarming” or “red” situations. According to Jahanpur, Ministry of Health Spokesman, Khuzestan remains critical while East & West Azerbaijan, Lorestan, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Isfahan and Hormozgan are in an “alarming” situation. If we add Sistan-Baluchestan, Kerman, Bushehr and North Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi which were mentioned yesterday, it will give a better picture about how accurate Rouhani’s statement really is.
Rouhani’s lies don’t stop there. He continued, “We should be thankful that our healthcare staff are fresh.” And immediately said, “We should be thankful to our healthcare workers because they must have been tired for working multiple shifts and for more than 3 months.” Earlier reports portrays exhausted nurses and physicians and shortage of more than 200,000 nurses in the healthcare system as a whole. We also have reported about nurses and EMTs getting fired or laid off due to delayed and nonpayment of their wages.
President added, “Another criteria for us to know if the situation is under control, is R0. It’s currently under 1 in the country, but in some places it is above 1 and we have to be more careful and may even impose restrictions, becuase we would have no choice. This is a very good criteria.” It’s worth mentioning, after 100 days since the epidemic was officially announced, this is the first time an official is talking about the basic reproduction rate (R0), a “very good” criteria that IranTrue has calculated on April 20 and has been updating it every day in our reports. Today, R0 is 1.23 which is way above 1 and shows the crisis is not over at all.
Head of the NCC Task Force added, “We have to learn how to live with the virus and some parts of our life has to be transferred to cyberspace.” While this is a sound advice, it’s almost impossible with low security and lack of proper infrastructure in Iran! In the past few years, Information Communications and Technology Ministry has spent BILLIONS of dollars to create “National Internet” to block people from global internet but the ministry’s websites, Ministry of Health’s portal, banks,… keep getting hacked every day. Most websites in the country don’t even use HTTPS protocols yet!
Rouhani claimed if more than 40% of people had the antibodies, he wouldn’t worry but the country is not there yet. He said, “People should know we don’t have any problem in providing the needed medical supplies such as N95 masks, PPE gears and ventilators.” In the meantime, an official from Alborz province said, “Diabetic patients have problems acquiring the insulin they need but the problem will be resolved in the next few days.” Why on earth a regime claiming to produce 90 ventilators a day, can’t produce insulin pens?! And all this when they have been saying for months that US sanctions have impeded combating the virus! In today’s meeting they allowed mosques to be open for daily prayers and lifted the working hours for indoor malls.
Just to lighten the mood a bit, let’s see what Saeed Namaki, Health Minister, has said in his trip to Khorasan Razavi. He said, “Despite all the problems due to sanctions we have become one of pioneers in defeating the virus and other countries, such as England, look at us as a model. NHS admits we have had the best screening process!” I guess he meant their model could be used for others so they know what NOT to do! He added, “We’re not too far behind other countries in developing COVID-19 vaccine.” If they had any news on that front, they wouldn’t stop bragging about it.
2,282 new cases and 57 dead were confirmed for today. Hassan Rouhani reiterated the same rhetoric as other officials, “one of the reasons for the increased number of cases is increased testing”, but if graphs are checked, it becomes obvious, there is no correlation.
Total: 148,950 (+2,282)
Dead: 7,734 (+57)
Critical: 2,533 (-14)
Admitted: 24,389 (+329)
Tests: 915,998 (Number of labs wasn’t mentioned in today’s news. Officials may have finally figured out there are discrepancies when they lie.)
Iran International Death Toll: 13,193 (Last updated on April 25)