As the Iranian government tries to keep the people in the dark, officials can no longer cover-up several figures. However, they still refrain to tell the entire story, with concerns over triggering anti-establishment protests. Nonetheless, with over 400 Covid-19 deaths per day, according to the Health Ministry, Iran approximately possesses 30 percent of Asia’s total Covid-19 deaths per day.
For instance, in her November 2 statement, the Health Ministry Spokesperson declared that 440 people lost their lives to the novel coronavirus in the span of 24 hours. On the same day, the total death toll across all of Asia stood on the 1,500 mark.
⚠️On November 2, 1,500 people died of #coronavirus in the Asia continent, 440 in #Iran, which means 30% of all Asia death.
⭕️84-million Iran shapes only 0.55% of the Asia population.
Real #COVID19 death toll is at least 3 times the official statistics—Iran Medial Apparatus chief pic.twitter.com/4SrRfxK3iJ
— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) November 2, 2020
To discover the actual scale of the catastrophe, Iran, with a population of around 84 million, has merely 0.55 percent of the Asia population. On the other hand, Iran’s area shapes only 0.27 percent of Asia’s 44.58 million km², meaning that a country with less than 0.55 percent of Asia’s population and 0.27 percent of Asia’s total area has one-third of this continent’s total death toll!
On the same day, Reza Zafarghandi, head of Iran’s Medical Council Mohammad surprised the people with new stats. “Iran’s actual Covid-19 death toll is at least three times the statistics are announcing by the health ministry,” he said.
Fifty Percent of Iran’s Covid-19 Deaths Registered in Tehran’s Cemetery
On November 6, Saeed Khal, head of Tehran’s famous cemetery Behesht-e Zahra described coronavirus fatalities as unprecedented. “There was not such a situation in the whole Behesht-e Zahra’s 50-year history. This crisis started eight months ago and has now continued for over 250 days. Its end is unclear and we have no prediction,” he said.
“According to the Health Ministry’s statistics, 50 percent of Iran’s total deceased was transferred to the Behesht-e Zahra, according to the cemetery’s website,” Khal added. However, Iranian officials have established new cemeteries instead of empowering the country’s health apparatus.
In an interview with the Fars news agency, Tehran City Council member Hassan Khalil-Abadi said that the death toll in Tehran has had a 100-percent increase in comparison to the previous wave back in the summer. “The Beheshteh-e Zahra cemetery has been completely filled. Plans for three new cemeteries in the capital have begun,” he said on October 31.
However, the fact is that the Iranian health apparatus has collapsed and no longer has the capacity to counter the ongoing crisis. This is while the government still refuses to completely pay the medical professionals’ outstanding salaries. In such circumstances, physicians and nurses must deal with economic burdens in addition to enduring moral and physical pressures of confronting the virus.
Iran’s Medical Staff Endure Extraordinary Physical and Mental Pressures
Obviously, medical staff members have lost their spirit as they witness at least 50 percent of patients who enter ICU sections losing their lives, according to Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi on October 28.
“We would not be witnessing a high death rate and an increasing number of people being hospitalized. These are all causing numerous problems for our medical professionals,” said Minoo Mohraz, a member of the National Covid-19 Task Force, in an interview with Entekhab and Hamshahri websites on November 2.
A day earlier she expressed concerns over the mental health of Iran’s medical professionals. “We physicians are dispirited due to the increasing number of critical patients and deaths. This mental condition also affects the body. Members of the country’s medical community are being eliminated one by one, and they are very few,” Mohraz told Setareh-e Sobh daily on November 1.
However, the mental situation is not the only problem facing Iran’s medical professionals. Their ceaseless efforts for eight months have significantly diminished their physical capacities and deteriorated their body resistance. Tens of thousands of nurses have contracted the Covid-19, according to official statistics.
“Around 32,000 of the country’s 110,000 nurses have contracted Covid-19 and only 4,000 nurses have been hired since the spread began across the country. So, in sum, nurses are under grueling pressure,” said Seyyed Mohammad Pakmehr, deputy chair of the Parliament (Majlis) Health Committee, on November 5.
In such circumstances, contrary to official claims and excuses, the country needs fundamental changes, which curb waste expenditures and drive national assets to resolve the nation’s dilemmas, including health issues. For many years, Iranian rulers have attributed all the country’s crises to foreigners while they are the main reason for plunging the country to a point of no return.