By Jubin Katiraie
Senior Iranian officials are relaxing or lifting altogether the already-lax restrictions that were put in place to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, even lifting quarantine measures in some hospitals.
An employee in Sina Hospital, Tehran, said Saturday that there are orders to end the quarantining of coronavirus patients and place them in all sections of the hospital, while doctors, nurses, and other employees are being told they cannot wear full protective gear.
This has led to ten new coronavirus infections and 30 deaths in that hospital alone, although only a third of the deaths were registered as coronavirus because of the officials’ secrecy. But anyone who comes out against these measures is fired because the officials have taken control of Iran’s hospitals to stop negative information from leaking.
The source continued: “Regime officials are stationed at the hospital 24 hours a day and if anyone uses their mobile phone they will be checked. If anyone is seen taking footage, they will be interrogated, and their mobile phone confiscated for evaluation. To not lose their phones, hospital personnel either don’t bring them to work or don’t use them during their shifts. The hospital is now under the control of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).”
To justify the lifting of restrictions, the Iranian government claims that various cities and other areas are now virus-free (or “white”), but nothing could be further from the truth.
Seyed Ahmad Hashemi, the caretaker dean of the North Khorasan Medical Sciences University, told the state-run IRNA news agency on Sunday that coronavirus cases have increased over the past few days, which would make sense considering the regime sent people back to work last month, and that there will be an “unprecedented rise” in cases over the next week.
He said that medical staff began evaluating people exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus outside of the hospital, saying that many people are not going to medical centers for fear of contracting coronavirus or infecting others, which is understandable and, in the case of keeping infections low, the responsible thing to do unless the symptoms are not mild.
Hashemi advised that the doctors and nurses also took samples from those who had been in close contact with people who tested positive for coronavirus, which led to cases doubling or even tripling.
He said: “What is quite interesting is that a large percentage of people being tested are coronavirus positive and this has resulted in a significant rise in the number of cases.”