Tehran: The daily death due to Covid-19 infection in Iran crossed 100 yesterday. This is the highest death toll in Iran for the past two months. Iran was one of the highly Covid affected countries in the world. The previous surge was in March-April months. After that, the death toll was considerably decreased. The people and officials were in a relief till the past couple of weeks, after which a resurgence of Covid death has been observed.
Statistics from Ministry of Health in Tehran say that over 107 people died of Covid-19 infection in the last 24 hours. This number is the highest number after April 13th. It was only a month since Iran eased the lock-down restrictions. A huge rise in death tolls following the suspension of lock-down indicate the starting of a second wave of Covid attack in the country. The total death count due to Covid-19 in Iran is now around 8,400 and it is the highest among all the middle East countries.
After implementing lock-down and curfew measures to combat the outbreak, which flooded hospitals with sick patients and killed medical personnel and senior politicians, Iran could bring down both the rate of deaths and new case-reports in May. Eventhough, the health sector warned of a second wave of infection could propagate, the government eased the lock-down restrictions. The public and commercial life was re-opened over the last two weeks; and now the country is in big trouble.
Tehran, the capital of Iran and the commercial and cultural hub of the country was the most affected in Iran. Officials now blame the 8.7 million residents for ignoring social distancing guidelines. The Ministry of health had also warned of “incremental growth” of the corona virus in rural provinces, and that a “second wave” of the disease might soon begin; and it turns out that it happened. Hasan Rouhani, the president of Iran said, “The observance of health protocols has declined to 20 per cent from 80, which causes us concern”. “The honourable people of Iran know that while we are dealing with the economic effects of the corona virus, our country is under the most severe and inhumane sanctions,” he told government officials in a speech posted to his website, pointing to the US strategy towards Iran.
Iran has reported more than 187,000 cases of coronavirus, with at least 2,000 new infections reported daily since 27 May as it continues to ramp up testing. Neighbouring Turkey, with a population of similar size and demographics to Iran, has reported more than 1,76,000 cases and 4,792 deaths. “Although economic experts believe that the economic effects of the corona virus are more permanent and more harmful than the corona virus itself, the government has tried to prevent serious complications and damage to the people and to the country’s economy”, Rouhani added.
Meanwhile, criticization from various corners have been thrown towards the government about how they handled the Corona situation in Iran. Controversial moves included holding parliamentary elections in February, declining to quarantine shrine cities, and allowing passenger flights to and from China, even after most countries had barred them. A spokesperson of the Health ministry Kianoush Jahanpour was suspended after he had questioned China’s statistics in Covid infection and called it a ‘bitter joke’.
A second Covid attack will be harder for the country as Iran’s economy is under intense pressure because of United States sanctions that target almost any company or country that does business with Tehran.