Iranian health officials said Iran was losing the battle with the deadly COVID-19 virus as the daily official death toll reached over 400.
In a conference meeting held in the Qazvin University of Medical Sciences on November 11, the Secretary of the Parliament’s Health Committee expressed concern over the escalation in COVID-19 cases in the northwestern province and called it a “black catastrophe”.
“If we don’t prevent the rising COVID-19 infections, we will move towards a black winter,” Fatemeh Mohammad Beigi said. She also asked for a two-week quarantine in the province.
An ICU specialist in Tehran’s Masih Daneshvari hospital, Mohammad Reza Hashemian, said in an interview with the state-run Farhikhtegan Daily that Iran was losing the fight with the deadly virus.
“We are moving forward with a group of players who have always taken the wrong path and have passed on the wrong information to the people,” Hashemian added.
The ICU specialist was recently expelled from the National Coronavirus Combat Taskforce for what he called, “a difference of opinion”. Hashemian said he was expelled because he opposed the use of antiviral drug Remdesivir in COVID-19 treatment.
“The problem is if you state a difference in opinion, it’s as if it’s a political debate and you will be treated harshly,” he added.
He also criticized Taskforce members and said they must be replaced.
“Those in the (Taskforce) who said the wrong things must be replaced. All the evidence is available. The person who gives the wrong figures, the person who says quarantine is for medieval times, the person who says antiviral medicine is no good, they must be replaced,” he said.
Hashemian said that the specialties of many of the members was irrelevant to fields related to the COVID-19 virus.
Officials have called for a 6 pm curfew to reduce the spread of the virus in several cities including Tehran.
Iranians mocked the curfew on social media, asking whether COVID-19 will not spread before 6 pm. They said the regime wanted to prevent anti-government protests rather than control the deadly virus.
According to the Head of the Iranian Nursing Organization, several Iranian hospitals are facing a severe shortage of nurses.
“In some hospitals, 10 patients infected with COVID-19 are cared for by one nurse,” Mohammad Mirzabigi said adding that nurses have been working day in and day out for nine straight months.
“Nurses suffer from mental and motivational burnout and severe physical exhaustion,” he said.
A November 11 AP report said that Tehran’s cemetery Behesht-e-Zahra has had a 260 day crisis, and was not able to keep up with the pace of bodies flowing in the cemetery for burial, due to COVID-19.
“We used to accept between 150 to 170 dead bodies every day, but these days when we are experiencing the peak of deaths, we are accepting 350 bodies on average,” the cemetery’s manager told The Associated Press.
Last month, and Iranian official said Iran was in the top five countries in terms of the COVID-19 death rate.
Iran’s Health Ministry put the death toll at 40,121 for today. Prominent Iranian health officials say the actual figures are four times higher. The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group that accuses the regime of lying about the number of deaths, said that the actual death toll was well over 150,700 in 465 cities, more than three times the official figures.