A health official in southwestern Iran where COVID-19 cases have seen a sharp increase blamed the surge on locals.
Mohammad Alavi, the Deputy Health official at Ahvaz Jondishapur University of Medical Sciences, told the state-run ISNA News Agency that the increase in COVID-19 cases in Khuzestan Province was because of Eid al-Fitr shopping carried out last week by locals. He also said that the public failed to follow social distancing and the state’s warnings. Alavi warned that coronavirus cases would increase in the days to come.
Despite blaming the increase in COVID-19 cases on locals, the Ahvaz health official said that he opposed the prolongation of the closure of businesses.
“The COVID-19 situation is not going to last 2-3 days and we can’t close businesses,” he said adding that the epidemic might take months or even years to end.
“We can’t close down the economy so people should consider social distancing and use masks.”
He also said that the new cases would show up 10 days after people take part in gatherings or visit each other.
Alavi said most COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Khuzestan’s hospitals but implied that they might request help from other provinces depending on the number of cases in the future.
Increase in Zahedan COVID-19 Cases
In Sistan and Baluchestan province, southeast Iran, an official in the Zahedan University of Medical Sciences reported an increase in COVID-19 cases. The University President Mohammad Hashemi Shahraki said that southern cities in the province were still in the red status adding that northern cities were yellow.
The regime classifies Iran’s regions as white, yellow, and red, with red meaning that infection rates were high.
He said that contrary to initial predictions that the COVID-19 death toll would decrease with time, when hygienic measures were not implemented the epidemic had a high fatality rate.
As with all health officials, he refrained from announcing the death toll in the province.
The President of the Zahedan University of Medical Sciences said that the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 had increased, adding that the current trend of infections was “very alarming”.
Lack of substantial measures and death toll cover-up
The Iranian regime has not carried out substantial measures to minimize the number of infections and deaths. In fear of economic repercussions and because the regime refused to give Iranians financial assistance while in quarantine, the government re-opened businesses very early on, despite warnings from the World Health Organization. Since then, the epidemic has once again surged in many provinces.
To cover up their mismanagement and lack of aid, government officials regularly blame the public for the increase in infections and grossly under-report the number of fatalities.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group that provides daily fatalities in Iran, announced today that at least 48,200 people had died from COVID-19.
Iran’s Ministry of Health put the number of fatalities at only 7,797.