By Pooya Stone
As a result of the Iranian regime’s indifference over the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the deadly epidemic entered a new phase, and “each infected person is like a [corona]virus bomb,” according to the parliament’s deputy speaker Massoud Pezashkian on March 3.
In this context, a member of the medical staff has provided an audio file from a doctors’ assembly in Rasht, the center of Gilan province, which shed light on the coronavirus crisis in northern parts of the country. The following are excerpts of the medical staff’s conversations over the virus’ spread in Gilan.
“[Officials] didn’t absolutely train the people, and many people are unaware of the risks. Many people have normal traffic across the city, which will be normalized in the upcoming days.”
Then, a doctor asked the head of the assembly, saying, “We should know how many hospitals are supposed to be engaged and how long it would take? Razi and Poursina hospitals have been engaged so far, but how long? Until the end of this month?”
Another one said, “These gatherings are strange for us and our families. It would be better than everyone be informed over the [coronavirus] crisis. Patients’ families should be informed that the situation of Razi hospital is critical. We are telling the people the situation is severely critical on one hand, but on the other hand, we say there are no concerns.”
He explained the situation and shortage of facilities, saying, “What should we do once doctors announce to all twenty patients who came [to the hospital] you will die if you are not hospitalized? Are we allowed to hospitalize them? We certainly do it and we are here to do it; however, we are daily filling a section of the hospital.”
“I spent a week here so far. We had estimated and emptied twelve sections [regarding this illness]. Eleven sections have been filled up so far, and we only have one remaining section. Some 25 individuals are hospitalized every day. There are around 40 [coronavirus] patients in Arya hospital and each private hospital has accepted 40 other patients. Tamin-e Ejtemaei hospital has also hospitalized 130 patients last night alone.”
“Almost 170 [coronavirus] patients are hospitalized in Razi hospital. We have more bedridden people in Rasht city. I have no information about the counties. Twenty-eight people died yesterday morning. It’s unclear whether I will get the illness next week or not, however, we cannot leave here due to this risk.”
Another doctor also mentioned that “these statistics are relevant to four days ago; if you’d like more precise stat, we had 54 fatalities across the province. [Officials] downplay the death toll and say there were two or four cases alone, but it isn’t true. We have 1,000 hospitalized patients across the province.”
In recent days, several medical staff has succumbed to the coronavirus, including:
Narjes Khanalizadeh, a 25-year-old nurse from Klachay county in Gilan province who was working in the emergency section of Milad hospital in Lahijan city.
Dr. Siamak Diushly, a pediatrician in the governmental hospital in Anzali city
Gholamreza Vosoughikia, a nurse in Poursina and Arya hospitals in Rasht city
Dr. Hamid Lotfi, an orthopedist in Someh Sara county
Reza Kouchakinia, 52, the head of No. 1 health center of Astaneh county from Lahijan city
Dr. Mostafa Samadi from a hospital in Babol city
And Ali Sheikhmoradi, a nurse in Qaem hospital in Rasht city