The entire news cycle in Iran has become about a “comprehensive plan” to control COVID-19 crisis. More details were released in the past 24 hours and more chaos ensued, as it is the usual case in Islamic Republic. The Traffic Police canceled a traffic control “plan” before it began, half of bank employees have to go to work, so do 1/3 of government employees, all factory workers too, even dry cleaners and print shops are open, and sporting events including soccer matches are business as usual and not affected by the “comprehensive plan.”
Tehran Mayor Office announced the working hours for Metro and public transportation services will increase during the 2-week lockdown in the capital! While COVID-19 broke another daily record today, the people who wanted to travel during the lockdown, are already on their ways. It more seems like the “comprehensive plan” is set for the government to collect fines and implement a strict curfew to prevent an uprising like November 2019! Interior Minister has already said it would take 2-3 weeks for the effects of the lockdown to be tangible.
Provinces continue reporting record breaking cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Hospital staff are pleading their case that their benefits are unpaid and they’re exhausted from long shifts for more than 9 months! In the meantime, the Ministry of Health continue to instill false hope in people about vaccine! While US is hoping to have a COVID-19 vaccine available for its entire population by Summer 2021, Islamic Republic is saying they would have the vaccine in Winter 2021! Saeed Namaki claims, apart from the domestic vaccine, they have paid $52million to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses from WHO. He said, “US is not in the list of those countries!” Pfizer and Moderna with successful human trials are US companies!
Sima Sadat Lari reported 13,421 tested positive for coronavirus in Iran in the past 24 hours. Another record for the deadly virus. In the same time, 480 have died of COVID-19. Number of tests in 24hrs decreased about 200 but positivity rate increased by about 0.75% to 33.14%! Officials, once again, promised to increase the number of tests to 100,000 a day. According to some provincial authorities, next week rapid tests would be distributed across the country. It’s worth noting, the 40,000 tests a day is one of the lowest in the world, especially considering the COVID-19 epidemic began 9 months ago in Iran.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) keeps rising while graphs indicate the waves and the ever growing number of active cases. In the past 24 hours, 6,732 have been hospitalized. Critical cases have increased beyond total number of available ICU beds, forcing hospitals to use mobile ICU equipment. Oxygen shortage continues to make treatments more difficult.
Total: 801,894 (+13,421)
Dead: 42,941 (+480)
Critical: 5,712 (+21)
Admitted: 181,970 (+6,732)
Tests: 5,626,631 (6.7% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Fatemeh Nasr