Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 26, 2020—The Iranian regime’s mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak has drawn global criticism by politicians and health agencies and is further isolating Iran in the region. Positive coronavirus cases are being discovered in neighboring countries from people who had traveled to Iran. Inside the country, the death toll continues to rise amid the government’s continued denial of the spread of the virus.
Iranian regime criticized for lack of transparency
The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the sudden increase in cases in countries outside China is "deeply concerning."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Washington was concerned that Iran may have concealed "vital details" about its outbreak and urged all nations to “tell the truth about the coronavirus.”
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), reiterated that the regime has a history of concealing its own blunders, which is now taking its toll on the life and health of the Iranian population. “The clerical regime is repeating the bitter experience of the Ukrainian Airliner,” Mrs. Rajavi tweeted on Monday.
The clerical regime is repeating the bitter experience of the Ukrainian Airliner. The catastrophe is spreading on a macro scale all across the country. Our compatriots must rise up and protest against the regime and compel it to tell the truth #COVID19 #Iran— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 24, 2020
Mrs. Rajavi also called on international bodies to compel the regime to transparently reveal all the facts about the spread of the deadly virus in the country. She also called on nurses and doctors across Iran to help contain the outbreak in wake of the regime’s lack of efforts to help the victims.
After China, Iran has the highest death toll, even according to the figures declared by regime officials. On Tuesday, official stats released by the regime indicated at least 15 people had been killed from the deadly virus and 95 people were infected. Reports coming from inside Iran suggest the scale is much higher and is largely due to the regime’s negligence in taking precautionary measures and adopting safeguards against the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus death toll rises across Iran
The health deputy of Alborz province Medical University reported that one person had died of the virus in this province while two others are in intensive care. Two deaths were reported in Saveh, Markazi province.
In Qom, locals reported that at least 70 people had died of the deadly virus by Tuesday night. Four deaths were reported in Najaf Abad, seven in Gilan, two in Khoramabad and one in Kermanshah.
In Lahijan, Narges Khanalizadeh, a 25-year-old nurse who had been helping the coronavirus victims, died at the Milad Hospital of Lahijan. One of the authorities of Milad Hospital said Narges Khanalizadeh had died due to flu, but she had died due to Corona infection and lack of the necessary equipment for physicians and nurses in the hospital.
#Iran— NCRI Women's Committee (@womenncri) February 26, 2020
Narges Khanalizadeh, 25 and a nurse, died at Milad Hospital of Lahijan on Feb 25, 2020 due to #Covid_19.
The #Iranregime’s lack of transparency on the spread of the Coronavirus and failure to provide essential equipment has outraged the public. https://t.co/qyqOEgYSSO pic.twitter.com/3qqxHqWGYd
A citizen reporting from Qom said that two hospitals have been completely evacuated of normal patients and allocated to coronavirus patients. "Today, both hospitals were completely filled and there's no room for more patients," this local said. "The Beheshti hospital is also being evacuated to hospitalize the coronavirus patients. Small children have also been infected. Government offices and work in the city is in a state of semi-shutdown. Commute in the city is very low. The mosques and Friday prayers have been shut down. The regime has lost control. When coronavirus victims die, they silently bury them and in many cases, they don't even inform the families."
Regime officials futilely try to normalize the situation
Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani tried to downplay the situation and his own regime’s lack of measures to prevent the spread of the virus. On Tuesday, speaking to reporters after his cabinet meeting, Rouhani said, “Some incidents are not in our hands…The virus has already spread to 40 countries. It’s a kind of virus that goes everywhere.”
Rouhani also said that on Saturday, everything will be back to normal and asked the people to trust the health ministry and not to trust the “opposition media that are saying weird things.”
Interestingly, Iraj Harirchi, the deputy health minister, was tested positive with the virus on Tuesday and was hospitalized. On the previous day, Harirchi had tried to downplay the scale of the outbreak in a press conference and had rejected a report that at least 50 people had died of the deadly virus in Qom, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran.
Meanwhile, unlike other countries where the virus has spread, regime officials continue to refrain from imposing quarantines in areas affected by the outbreak. Regime officials say quarantines are old-fashioned and that they do not believe in them.
The Shia shrines in the cities of Qom and Mashhad are still open, despite Qom being a hotbed of the virus.
“We can’t do what China did in Wuhan because we don’t have their facilities,” the state-run Arman Daily quoted Hadi Hagh Shenas, the governor of Golestan province, as saying. “The budget of hospitals, the general level of hygiene in the country as well as the issue of trust in the programs declared by the hygiene department are all factors that may result in our incapacity to get the same results as China. There are many issues that we don’t take seriously.”