All health experts around the would agree that “lockdown” first effects would be observed 3-4 weeks after lockdown began! However, it seems like in Iran, officials have already started announcing downtrend for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths! This is not that surprising, since the statistics are not provided by health experts or hospitals but top officials at the Ministry of Health after being sifted through Intelligence agencies.
In the past 24 hours, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s death has been at top of every report. The officials claim he was the leading expert in developing COVID-19 test kits and also the vaccine which will supposedly start the human trials from Wednesday! Considering he was an IRGC commander and in charge of nuclear defense system, it’s mind boggling how he had a hand on those pots too!
In the meantime, officials from Governor offices give the “good news” of declining cases and deaths. For example, Fars Lieutenant Governor claims the downward trajectory, while the deputy head of Shiraz Medical University reported 36 deaths in 24hours, an increase from the day before. This trend is seen across the country, pointing us to the fact that something other than true statistics and intentions fuels the Ministry of Health for its decisions and reports.
Deputy Health Minister Raisi, who is also the National Task Force Spokesman, announced that from today, everybody needing any service in government buildings need to provide their National ID Number and card. That includes taking a bus to another city. While the excuse behind it is the COVID-19 test results, it looks like it’s more to have control over citizens. He also said many cities have experienced the change in their “color status” from red to orange or yellow. According to him, the “dynamic comprehensive plan” dictates some relaxation in restrictions in those cities, and if any city doesn’t have any change, the restrictions remain in place! Raisi thanked people and organizations for helping to control the virus. It’s worth noting, the “plan” began on November 21!
Ministry of Health Spokesperson reported her daily undercounted and manipulated data. 13,402 tested positive for coronavirus while 391 died of COVID-19. That is the lowest number of daily deaths since November 1! Sima Sadat Lari reported the highest number of recoveries in a day, 8,766, since the epidemic began in Iran, more than 9 months ago! This abrupt and huge jump in 24 hours is worth more scrutiny!
Testing increased to 43,000 in a day. Raisi promised that by December 21, that would increase to 100-120,000! Testing remains a big hurdle in the process of containing the virus in Iran. After 9 months, Iran is still among the countries with lowest number of tests per capita in the world.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) increased as per its usual trend in the past few weeks. Graphs depict the overwhelming number of active cases. Nursing organizations across the country continue to rebuke the Health Minister for not getting paid on time, and the shortage of beds and equipment to handle the hospitalizations and critical cases.
Total: 935,799 (+13,402)
Dead: 47,486 (+391)
Critical: 5,865 (+5)
Admitted: 239,482 (+4,245)
Tests: 6,038,556 (7.2% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Alireza Masoumi