Schools reopened today, and while students in all levels in all regions of the country regardless of COVID-19 status had to attend in person, the President of Islamic Republic spoke to a school from his office through video conference. Khamenei and Rouhani haven’t set foot outside their comfortable quarantine since the whole coronavirus pandemic has started in Iran! In his speech, he asked students, teachers and school officials to follow the protocols like it is a military base!
The short span in which Ministry of Education changed its plans to start in-person school for all the country at all levels have caused outrage among health experts, “parliament representatives,” and of course parents. Parents started trending hashtag (#نه به بازگشایی مدارس), meaning “no to schools reopening”, on social media while representatives threatened the Education Minister with impeachment. Head of Health Commission at the “parliament” said implementing protocols in schools “is a joke, especially in undeveloped areas where people don’t even have water to wash their hands.” He added many people can’t afford to buy masks for their kids to send to school!
On the other hand, head of Iran Medical Council wrote a letter to Education Minister saying schools reopening while “all provinces across the country are in critical condition of COVID-19” is against Ministry’s previous directives and has caused physician society to worry! He continued, “I hope the reason behind this sudden change in policy is not anything but educational.” That was a reference to the notion that powerful people owning private schools were behind reopening of schools so they could collect their tuition fees! Alireza Faani, a member of Supreme Education & Training Council, said it’s impossible for schools to get ready in such short notice!
Dr Reza Hashemian, ICU specialist at Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran in a video said, “we’re not a country capable of facing pediatric patients in ICUs! We don’t have enough specialists. If our bosses had seen what I’ve seen during this pandemic, they would have opposed schools reopening.” He added even if 10 children are infected, it would be uncontrollable. It’s worth noting that healthcare staff and hospitals have been struggling with the pandemic for more than 200 days, with long shifts and some with unpaid wages! Full hospital beds across the country are reported and shortage of ICU beds is prevalent!
On the other hand, Sima Sadat Lari announced the daily numbers and mentioned 29 of 31 provinces are in red or alarming status! That means more than 95% of Iran’s population are in danger of contracting, spreading and dying from the novel coronavirus, but for Islamic Republic that doesn’t mean anything! The Ministry of Health Spokesperson continues her daily announcements when the stats have been widely scrutinized and proven to be falsified. For the past 24 hours, she said 1,1894 new cases have been confirmed and 110 have passed away.
Basic Reproduction Rate (R0) and growth factors remain above 1, indicating an ongoing crisis! The same graphs also point towards data manipulation by the theocratic regime for many reasons already mentioned several times.
Total: 384,666 (+1,894)
Dead: 22,154 (+110)
Critical: 3,708 (+13)
Admitted: 30,381 (-39)