National Corona Combating Task Force held its weekly meeting today and made some decisions. President of Islamic Republic who presides over the National Task Force, announced 46 new cities would go into full lockdowns by restricting most businesses, schools, colleges, and all gatherings for 10 days from Wednesday. 25 province capitals, including Tehran, will be in partial lockdown by closing high risk businesses and gatherings only. The lockdown for previous 43 critical cities is also extended for another week.
However, that’s not enough since the incubation period for coronavirus is up to 14 days and none of the lockdowns have been enforced properly so far. While Iraj Harirchi, Deputy Health Minister, says the Ministry is against all gatherings whether national or religious, Basijis in Tehran gather in front of French Embassy, and some gather for religious reasons in Mashhad. This week named “Unity Week” for “prophet Muhammad’s birthday,” has already caused some gatherings across the country and some clerics are asking for bigger ones!
The Task Force has also decided not to allow anybody with COVID-19 like symptoms to board trains and planes, implying this was possible before today! Dr Zali, head of the Committee in Tehran, said they’ve asked the President to allocate enough budget for free or low-cost PCR testing in Tehran which is ravaged by the virus.
All of these new measures are being taken 8.5 months after the epidemic began in Iran, raising the question if these were possible why so late, and if they’re not practical steps why bother announcing them?! Local reports indicate people are struggling to make ends meet and need to work or receive stimulus checks from the government! The National Task Force also decided not to close down Tehran or other capitals indicating it’s not a possibility due to economical issues brought on people by corruption and mismanagement of the Islamic Republic.
Testing remains in the 35,000 range per day and officials have previously signaled they would require more budget to increase testing and diagnosing people earlier. However, head of FDA, Dr Shanehsaz claimed there are enough test kits in the country that could be exported! Contradictions and chaos don’t end in Islamic Republic style of management.
On the other hand, IRGC Commander-in-Chief, Salami, claimed 54,000 Basij bases in the country would be trained to go to “where coronavirus has made its home” and “attack it.” How Basijis would be diagnosing silent coronavirus infected people is the main question, but maybe Salami has made “Mostaan 110” to work! With November 2019 anniversary approaching, some speculate this could be a blank check to IRGC and Basij to identify and suppress regime’s opposition members.
Sima Sadat Lari reported the undercounted and discredited stats of Ministry of Health. She announced 386 deaths and 7,820 new cases confirmed by PCR test in the past 24 hours. The entire country remains critical. According to health experts and officials from different provinces, the next few weeks could get even worse.
Active cases continue to rise. Critical cases increase every day. Graphs depict the waves and dreadful COVID-19 situation in Iran vividly.
Total: 612,772 (+7,820)
Dead: 34,864 (+386)
Critical: 5,185 (+57)
Admitted: 95,978 (+2,507)
Tests: 4,929,005 (6.2% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)