By Pooya Stone
The number of those infected and suspected of being infected with the Coronavirus in Iran’s prisons is rising by the day, while even the most basic healthcare to diagnose or treat the virus is lacking.
Last week, Farid Mohammadi, who had been imprisoned in the Central Prison of Urmia died in Khomeini Hospital after being hospitalized for 20 days.
His family said he contracted the virus in hospital, but 16 prisoners have now been removed from the Prison after being suspected of contracting the Coronavirus, with the latest being moved on February 27.
Three of these prisoners were being held in the juvenile ward and ward 14, while 13 were transferred from the so-called workers’ ward.
The Prison lacks even the most basic medical and health care resources, with the only measures taken being supplying each prisoner with a face mask and cleaning the floor with disinfectant.
The prison authorities and health officials, who told prisoners to get their health care supplies and necessary medicines from relatives on the outside, have, tellingly, refused to enter the wards.
Meanwhile, in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, four inmates are being quarantined because they are thought to have contracted the Coronavirus. The virus could spread rapidly here due to overcrowded wards and a lack of basic medical and health care resources, like soap.
Then, on Wednesday, the deputy warden of Rajaishahr Prison, Hassan Qobadi, went to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary to transfer many of the prisoners who did the cooking and other services to the workers’ ward of Rajai Shahr prison. To make matters worse, the Rajaishahr Prison dispensary only gives prisoners suffering from coughs and fever palliatives, not even handing out face masks and gloves to stop the virus spreading.
The virus is also suspected of spreading in Evin Prison.
The Judiciary claimed that no one has been admitted to prisons in recent days, but reports on the ground say otherwise.
The death toll for the coronavirus in Iran is over 500, with the Iranian authorities trying to prevent the true numbers from being disclosed and putting the death toll at just 43.
The real death figures are at least:
- 150 in Qom
- 100 in Tehran
- 100 in Mazandaran Province
- 37 in Arak and Saveh
- 37 in Isfahan, Homayounshahr, and Najafabad
- 24 in Kashan
- 22 in Gilan
It is believed that tens of thousands have the virus.