National Task Force convened its weekly meeting presided over by the President of Islamic Republic. According to its Spokesman, Raisi, the “lockdown plan” was approved and will be implemented from next Saturday, November 21, across the country! Based on this “unique and unprecedented plan” which would “ruin all predictions done by foreign websites and experts,” the country is divided to 3 colors again! Level 3 (red), Level 2 (orange) and Level 1 (yellow). Depending on the color of an individual county and province, specific restrictions will be implemented. Raisi said this would include closing down the capital for 2 weeks including barring traveling into/from Tehran! Rouhani and other officials had resisted against closing down Tehran and the country for 9 months, costing more than 41,000 people their lives.
In response to why this “unique” plan wasn’t enforced from today, Deputy Health Minister in Health Affairs said, “because we need to coordinate with different organizations and people should have enough advance notice.” There are questions if this “plan” would be as loosely enforced as before! In the meantime, the 6PM curfew continues with less businesses following the rules, because they can’t afford to close their business! The efficacy of the curfew has been questioned many times with no reasonable answer from officials, leading many Iranians to believe it’s just to prevent another uprising on the anniversary of November 2019 protests, especially with intense presence of security forces across the country.
Kerman has added another county to the list of its growing “black” cities! Isfahan has limited operation hours of Metro and public transportation system to lower inner-city traffic. Khuzestan and Khorasan Razavi report full capacity hospitals with increasing number of cases. Ardabil is breaking case records and its officials believe people don’t trust authorities anymore, one of the Medical University officials said, “total lockdown seems like the only way to control the spread of coronavirus.”
Saeed Namaki sent out a text message to all phone numbers across the country, announcing the “lockdown plan” saying it’s for people’s benefit and their health and they should abide by it. He also mentioned “please refrain from any gathering.” However, there’s fear that the lockdown may drive people to each other’s house and indoor gatherings would make matters worse.
Sima Sadat Lari announced 452 deaths due to COVID-19 in the past 24hours. She said 11,203 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the same time. Active cases keep rising while number of tests have remained below the 40,000 mark for the third day in a row! According to Dr Mardani, Islamic Republic is importing “rapid PCR test kits” from South Korea to increase daily capacity to 100,000. He added, because of the increase in testing, number of daily cases has increased, a notion that has been debunked many times before. Islamic Republic officials had claimed they were ready to “export” test kits to other countries! Testing remains a major hurdle in early diagnosis of cases.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) is increasing every day indicating worsening COVID-19 crisis in Iran. Graphs depict the 3 waves and how coronavirus has been nonstop ravaging through Iran for more than 9 months, even though they’re based on discredited and undercounted data of Ministry of Health! All officials and health experts agree, the situation would get worse in the next few weeks/months if it’s not controlled.
Total: 749,525 (+11,203)
Dead: 41,034 (+452)
Critical: 5,642 (+12)
Admitted: 155,744 (+4,646)
Tests: 5,646,191 (6.5% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Mustafa Abbasi