Ministry of Health Spokesperson reported 459 deaths due to COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours. That’s the new record for daily deaths caused by the novel coronavirus infection, since the epidemic began in Iran 9 months ago. Sima Sadat Lari also announced 9,236 new cases who have tested positive for coronavirus in the same time. She mentioned the entire country is in critical condition and it is anticipated to worsen during winter!
Security, Social and Disciplinary Committee of National Task Force has devised a new plan to categorize status of each province/city. According to Zolfaghari, each city would be given a color: Yellow, Red and Black (Critical) on a weekly basis, every Monday. Depending on the number of cases, admissions, deaths, occupied hospital beds, and rate of cases to population of the city, specific restrictions would be automatically implemented from the next day. These data are supposed to be decided and loaded on Ministry of Health website. Of course, this plan must be approved by the National Task Force before moving forward. Zolfaghari didn’t give any specific details or time-frame. It’s worth noting, after 9 months struggling with the virus, this would be the second time Islamic Republic colors the map!
On the other hand, some cities/provinces are already reported as “Black” in state-controlled media. For example, Tabriz, Rafsanjan, Ardestan,… were called in “black status” by IRNA, the government news agency.
In the meantime, Epidemiology Committee of National Task Force released its weekly report. According to this document, 25 of 31 provinces have seen an uptrend during the last week while only 1 has been on a downward trajectory. The rest have been reported as “stable” or “stable with minor changes.”
Tehran Corona Combating Committee has sent a letter to the “relevant authorities” giving 25 recommendations in order to contain COVID-19 surge. One of the main points is closing down Tehran and banning travel into/out of Tehran! Other points include increasing number of metro cars and buses, implementing remote working for all, stricter enforcement of protocols including fining whoever doesn’t abide by them. The letter is virtually asking for Tehran to be quarantined for at least 2 weeks.
Furthermore, heads of 65 Medical University and Colleges from across the country wrote a letter to Saeed Namaki asking for the entire country to be locked down for at least 2 weeks with traveling banned. However, Tehran Governor said the discussion about closing down Tehran has been dismissed and it’s out of the question. According to him and other provincial officials, all businesses are to close after 6 PM and that’s the only plan ahead. Nobody has explained how this might help stopping the spread of coronavirus in Iran but some has said this is a plan to prevent widespread uprising on the anniversary of November 2019 protests.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) increased again. Graphs show the overwhelming number of active and critical cases. Testing inches up to the promised 40,000 tests per day, which is still one of the lowest per capita in the world. Health experts have said testing is one of the main issues and need to be increased to at least 200,000 per day, which seems to be impossible for Islamic Republic.
Total: 682,486 (+9,236)
Critical: 5,523 (+17)
Admitted: 123,866 (+3,601)
Tests: 5,224,252 (6.3% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)