Iran’s President today denied the country’s severe lack of COVID-19 equipment in hospitals in a televised meeting with his cabinet.
Rouhani said that the government had been very successful in its battle with COVID-19. He said that since the first day of the epidemic in Iran, hospitals did not have a shortage of beds, food or medicine in any of Iran’s provinces.
“Since the first day, we had no cases in any provinces or cities where hospital doors were not open to patients who wanted to be admitted to hospitals,” Rouhani said.
He said that there “was not even one instance” of the shortage of hospital beds or ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.
The regime’s president also claimed that there was no shortage of medical equipment at hospital and that they were being provided every day.
Rouhani said that Iranians had access to most sanitary items adding that Iran was better off than developed countries.
This is while according to the Medical Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, many lives were lost due to a “shortage of basic protective gear”.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Medical Council said that to contain the epidemic, it was vital for the Ministry of Health to “equip doctors, nurses, experts and staff who are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19”.
The Medical Council also said that there was a “significant difference” between officially announced figures on those infected with COVID-19 and the real statistics.
Lawmakers and health officials in the northern provinces of Mazandaran, Golestan and Gilan and the northeastern province of Khorasan had also warned in the past month of a severe shortage of hospital beds and equipment.
In Tehran, the head of the capital’s COVID-19 Headquarters said on April 8 that most of the 2,000 ICU beds in Tehran’s hospitals were occupied.
On March 24, the head of Tehran’s Khomeini Hospital told Iran’s state-run TV that the country was going through a “calm before the storm” phase.
Khosro Sadegh Niat also acknowledged that hospitals were facing a severe shortage of ICU beds.
“We have 98 beds in the ICU which are all occupied,” he said adding that other hospitals faced the same shortage.
On March 24, the head of the Industry and Mine Organization in Kerman said that 41% of those infected with COVID-19 in the southeastern province were healthcare workers. Mehdi Hosseini Nejad said that the reason behind the high infection rate was a problem in “providing masks, alcohol and gloves” for healthcare workers in Iran’s COVID-19 outbreak.
On March 7, a member of the board of directors of the Mashhad Nursing Organization said that nurses in several hospitals did not have adequate protective gear.
“Nurses in some hospitals are faced with a lack of protective gear including medical gowns, N95 masks, gloves and disinfectants,” Javad Tavakoli told the state-run YJC website.
In mid-March, a doctor in the northern city of Gorgan said that the country was facing a “human catastrophe” in its handling of the COVID-19 crisis. In an audio file published on social media platforms, the doctor said that “if you get COVID-19 you have to be lucky to stay alive because hospitals have no facilities”.
On March 9, a lawmaker from the northern city of Rasht told state-run news agencies that hospitals faced a severe shortage of ventilators, ICU beds, masks and hospital gowns.
Jafarzadeh said that they could not provide the minimum protective gear for hospital staff in Rasht, one of the worst hit areas in the country’s COVID-19 outbreak.
On the same day, the IRNA state-run News Agency quoted the Head of Iran’s Nursing Organization as saying the shortage of masks, gloves and protective suits for nurses in hospitals in northern Iran were “alarming” and that nurses in that region were in danger.
At least 110 doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have passed away from COVID-19 in Iran.
Today, Iran’s Ministry of Health said that with 98 deaths in the past 24 hours from COVID-19, the number of fatalities in Iran had reached 4,683.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group that announces Iran’s daily COVID-19 death toll, said that the actual numbers surpassed 29,000.