The Iranian government’s policies, which include deliberate inaction against the coronavirus and not vaccinating the people, have helped the disease to spread rapidly among the people.
The increase in the number of infected people and the increase in the number of casualties is so severe that even the state media and official have been forced to admit it.
Tehran Governor Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpi acknowledged the inefficient management by the Rouhani government in dealing with the disease and said: “We do not have good conditions in disease management and except for Khuzestan province, we enter the fourth wave of coronavirus in all provinces and cities.” (State-run news agency, IRANA, April 3, 2021)
The president of Ilam University of Medical Sciences also announced the entry of this province into the ‘fourth coronavirus peak’ and said: “The number of hospitalizations in the province has increased 10 times compared to February, and with the continuation of this trend, we will face a shortage of beds. The process of hospitalizations is increasing sharply, and the duration of patients’ stay has increased due to bad illness, and medical centers have been challenged.” (IRNA, April 3, 2021)
The head of Kish Hospital also acknowledged the increasing trend of coronavirus patients in this city: “The number of coronavirus patients in this island in the first ten days of April reached 17.5 percent, which is about two times more than the eight percent in March.” (IRNA, April 3, 2021)
Government officials are trying to blame the people for the lack of observance of health regulations, blaming them for the expansion of the coronavirus in the country and the increase in the number of patients.
President Hassan Rouhani stated: “Statistics now tell us that adherence to health guidelines has decreased. Whenever the guidelines decrease, it means a new wave means a new danger. Now when the adherence is 85 percent or 90 percent, it is a little reassuring, but when the observance is below 60 percent, whenever people see the situation as normal, they had underestimated the virus, they fell that the problem is over and there is no longer a problem. We faced a very big problem.” (State TV News Channel, April 3, 2021)
Meanwhile, opposition activists argue that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Rouhani are, through their inaction, responsible for the spread of this disease.
Aftab Yazd newspaper, while acknowledging that the country is on the verge of a fourth wave of the coronavirus, wrote:
“The coronavirus is also ignored by some of the main officials and governmental and non-governmental organizations of the country, and once again this kind of simplification will affect the society. The responsibility of a community health guardian goes far beyond advice, warning and swearing and more serious policies were needed to control the disease.
“It seems that this kind of not so serious and varied decisions of the officials has been a kind of encouragement of the people to be negligent. It seems that there has been mismanagement at the macro level of the society regarding this disease. And the country is on the verge of a serious corona danger.” (State-run daily Aftab-e-Yazd, April 3, 2021)
One indicator of this policy is the vaccination of people. The slow vaccination of the people in Iran is while there are countries that have reduced mortality among the people due to the advancement of vaccination, yet the leaders of Iran seemingly do not care.
As the Aftab-e-Yazd daily wrote: “Vaccines have been imported in all countries of the world in any way and a significant part of the people of these countries have been vaccinated. While still in our society, the government deals with the import of vaccines ideologically.” (State-run daily Aftab-e-Yazd, April 3, 2021)
“Consequences of importing the vaccine by the private sector and with the Nimah currency, will the Coronavirus vaccine become a luxury?’ is the headline in the Etemad newspaper, referring to the contradictory statements of government officials about whether the vaccine is free or paid:
“In a report, Bloomberg estimates the return time to normal life in each country by examining the rate of vaccination in that country; According to this report, Iran can vaccinate 75 percent of its population in the next 10 years and return to normal life.” (State-run daily Etemad, April 4, 2021)
And at least the state-run daily Shargh on April 4, 2021 wrote: “In which subject was the Ministry of Health transparent that can be trusted in the fair distribution of the vaccine? Has it acted transparently in the Health Transformation Plan and the unequal and corruptive distribution? Was it accurate about the death toll of the Coronavirus epidemic? Have the policies and trends pursued in the last year led to public confidence?”