While the number of daily COVID-19 deaths reaches a new high, national currency hits a new low in the history, making the crisis in Iran even worse. Sima Sadat Lari, Ministry of Health Spokesperson, announced her daily manipulated, discredited, undercounted numbers, reporting 3,822 new confirmed PCR tests and 251 deaths in the past 24 hours. The entire country remains in critical status and provincial officials report increasing number of cases, admissions and deaths.
Dr Zali, head of Tehran Corona Combating Committee, admitted there are human resources shortages, especially nurses, in Tehran hospitals and asked the Ministry of Health to provide the needed budget to hire new nurses. He continued the nursing staff are exhausted and with no lapse between second and third waves of COVID-19 patients, they haven’t had any rest. He added, “until the end of winter, we should be prepared for constant peaks in cases.”
The confusion about the new fining system continues. After Harirchi said they don’t have a system to fine people on the streets, Raisi, Deputy Health Minister in Health Affairs, said police security cameras and facial recognition would be used to fine people who don’t wear masks in public in Tehran. However, the main problem persists: There is no plan to reduce the crowds in Tehran public places. That’s why health experts, including head of Masih Daneshvari Hospital are asking the government to close down the country for 2-3 weeks even if it’s against economical situation!
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of AEOI and Nobakht, Director of Planning & Budget Organization have tested positive. Following COVID-19 rumors surrounding Saeed Namaki, the Health Minister participated in an online press conference and denied the rumors. He said he’s been in contact with a few people who were suspected of the disease but his test has come back negative. Namaki said 3 months unpaid wages and benefits of healthcare staff have been paid but at the same time, tens of nurses in Khuzestan gathered in front of Medical University demanding their benefits and wages to be paid.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) and graphs continue to indicate devastating situation in Iran. COVID-19 active cases keep rising while testing remains in the same range. Sima Sadat Lari said following Rouhani’s order to purchase and import test kits, there would be an increase in the daily testing capacity. It’s worth noting, Islamic Republic officials have claimed many times that they have become self-sufficient in producing test kits and even they’re exporting them to other countries!
Critical cases remain a mystery and while Saeed Namaki denied the reports about hospitals being at full capacity, public and private hospitals continue to report no availability for beds. Even on social media, there have been reports of people staying on the back of ambulances for hours till a bed becomes available.
Total: 500,075 (+3,822)
Dead: 28,544 (+251)
Critical: 4,482 (+90)
Admitted: 65,142 (+1,132)
Tests: 4,312,514 (5.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Bahman Sadeghi