The chaos in the Islamic Republic, more specifically the Ministry of Health reaches a new high point amid COVID-19 crisis in Iran. Following the resignation of Dr Reza Malekzadeh and his sharp criticism of Saeed Namaki’s actions and decisions, regime’s intelligence community with the help of state-controlled media started to bash Malekzadeh and accused him of selling COVID-19 patients’ information to WHO allowing the “enemies of Islamic Republic” to test unknown drugs on Iranians and as a result, “killing many compatriots.”
In the meantime, deputy and secretary of Scientific Committee in National Task Force also resigned citing the same reasons: mismanagement of the Health Minister! Whether these accusations are facts or Namaki’s figment of imagination to get back at Malekzadeh, it depicts a small portion of how corrupt the whole system really is. As long as there wasn’t any feud between two high ranking officials in charge of citizens’ health, there was no problem! But as soon as something happened behind the scenes, the one with less connection will get sacked, tarnished and eventually disappeared. That’s how and why COVID-19 has been unstoppable in Iran.
In the middle of all this drama, coronavirus continues to ravage through the country. Today, the “2-week lockdown” of 150 cities across the country began. According to reports and based on what we had expected, this plan is not even close to a “lockdown.” Photos from Tehran public transportation system are horrifying, showing people standing so close to each other! Other provinces have reported more or less the same situation.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health Spokesperson presented her daily undercounted data. According to Sima Sadat Lari, 12,931 people tested positive for coronavirus and 431 died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Iran. The entire country remains critical. 5,389 new hospitalizations since yesterday is another data point provided by the Ministry! Testing decreased compared to yesterday.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) increased by 7 percentage points indicating the ongoing crisis. Graphs vividly illustrate the waves and ever growing number of active cases in the country.
Total: 841,308 (+12,931)
Dead: 44,327 (+431)
Critical: 5,778 (+22)
Admitted: 200,845 (+5,389)
Tests: 5,747,325 (6.8% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Amin Nazari