The Iranian Ministry of Health put COVID-19 fatalities at 147 on Saturday. But local reports indicate that at least 2000 Iranians have died since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The National Council of Resistance said today that its sources in Iran reported more than 2,000 COVID-19 fatalities across Iran.
The regime implemented travel bans in several provinces including northern provinces which have the greatest number of infections according to official statistics.
But the travel ban on the northern province of Mazandaran, one of the worst hit areas, was lifted according to a provincial official who spoke to the ISNA state-run News Agency.
Hossein Hosseinejad said the travel ban was only implemented for the weekend when the traffic into the popular holiday destination was heavier.
A video on social media showed locals from Amol, a city in Mazandaran, taking matters into their hands and preventing travelers from entering the city.
In the province of Kerman in southeastern Iran, the Head of the Industry and Mines Organization said that 41% of those infected with COVID-19 in the province were health workers. The reason behind the high number of infections in hospital staff was difficulties in “providing gloves, alcohol, and masks”, he said.
At least nine health workers, including five doctors and four nurses have passed away in Iran. But it is not clear how many of the more than 2,000 COVID-19 fatalities are health care workers.
Reports from various cities indicate that hospitals are overcapacity and no longer admit new coronavirus patients.
In Isfahan, indoor stadiums were being prepared to admit infected patients. The regime has announced that there are only 484 cases of coronavirus in the province. Locals report that the two largest hospitals in the province, al-Zahra (with 800 beds) and Khorshid, are filled with infected patients.
A heartbreaking video circulating on social media showed an elderly man collapsed on the ground outside of the Rasoul Akram Hospital in Rasht, in the northern province of Gilan. The voice on the video said that the hospital was overcapacity and would not admit the man, who was coughing and had a very hard time breathing.
Audio file from Fardis, in Karaj near Tehran – March 7: “Ambulances are making rounds to pick up those who have collapsed on the streets. They then disinfect the person’s home with saltwater because they don’t have any other kind of disinfectant and close the home. They take away the patient and the family to an unknown location. Karaj lacks medical facilities and never had any.”
Audio file from Hamedan, northwestern Iran – March 7: “Please convey my voice so that people know what’s going on. Unfortunately, the public has been left in the dark and people think that nothing is going on. Some streets were very crowded at 8 pm. If anything were to happen to these people, state-run TV is responsible (for lying about the scope of the outbreak). There are no masks or alcohol. I went to seven medical supply stores but did not find a medical face shield. I work at Sina Hospital which has around 50 patients who are in critical condition. Don’t be fooled by state-run TV.”
According to a poll conducted by the state-run Hamshahri online website, 61% of Tehran residents want the capital to be quarantined. 63% don’t have enough access to masks & disinfectants from which 74% say the shortage comes from the markets. The website said that 22% said that they could not afford these items.
Reports from other cities indicate that Iranians still face a severe shortage in masks and disinfectants. This is while state-run media boast that Iran was producing masks and gloves for public use.
According to locals in the northeastern city of Mashhad, the second-most populous city in the country, masks and disinfectants have turned into something of a rarity.
“I did not find disinfectants, hand gels or masks, despite roaming the streets until 11pm. I don’t know where to get these items. They advertise on TV that people should buy these items and disinfect their homes but there is nothing. We have been denied a minimum of facilities. Conditions are very dire in Mashhad. Shariati Hospital is overcapacity and at least 10 people die there every day,” a man in Mashhad said.
All of this has added to Iran’s COVID-19 fatalities and the alarming spread of the virus.