Rouhani’s Claims of “White Areas” Contradicted by His Own Experts
More than 39,000 people in 312 cities in all 31 provinces in Iran have died from the new coronavirus, according to the latest announcement from the MEK on Monday, May 4. The regime has reported 6,277 confirmed deaths to the World Health Organization (WHO), a number that members of its own Ministry of Health have challenged as a drastic undercount of fatalities.
Deaths by Province include:
- Tehran: 6,470
- Khuzestan: 1,970
- Alborz: 1,520
- West Azerbaijan: 1,200
- Hamedan: 970
- Kermanshah: 960
- Lorestan: 925
- Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari: 312
- Hormozgan: 152
- Additional deaths were reported in all other provinces.
Playing with Words
Regime Supreme Leader’s hasty decision to reopen the country has left healthcare providers scrambling to manage the rising death toll with minimal personal protective equipment and insufficient staff. Those who have dared to question the regime’s faulty policies or share accurate data are fired, arrested, or both, leaving even fewer doctors and nurses to treat the growing number of sick and dying patients arriving in Iranian hospitals.
The #coronavirus outbreak in #Iran continues to claim a large number of lives every day. The latest figures from the #MEK Iran indicate that more than 39,000 people have died after contracting #COVIDー19https://t.co/hQ9b8GcUsF@USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/tPbk6ibvMN
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) May 4, 2020
Even the regime’s Ministry of Health has contradicted some of the official statements given by other top regime officials, at times going so far as to challenge President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani recently stated that the coronavirus was under control in parts of the country, declaring them “white areas.’ He further categorized other parts of the country as “red areas” and “yellow areas.” This reasoning was used to justify the decision to hold mass prayers this Friday in 157 cities.
The Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Committee released a statement following this announcement that seemed to call this decision into question. The statement, which was broadcast on the state-run ISNA news agency, read:
“The increasing trend, or the early signs of a peak, are witnessed in 15 provinces: Qom, Lorestan, Gilan, Golestan, Razavi Khorasan, Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmed, Khuzestan, Hormozgan, Kerman, Yazd, Isfahan, Zanjan, Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari, Kermanshah.”
On Monday, Dr. Mahboubfar, a member of the Coronavirus Preventive Measures Committee, directly questioned Rouhani’s logic in an interview with the Vatane Emrouz daily.
“Dividing the country into white, yellow and red areas to address the coronavirus crisis, considering the massive spread of this devious virus across the country, has no scientific basis and is nothing but playing with words… Mr. President is apparently naïve in designating colors for cities and various areas of the country based on the COVID-19 spread because there are no areas of the country considered white or coronavirus-free,” he said.
Meanwhile, other health officials worked to minimize the damage caused by the premature reopening of Iran. On Monday, Dr. Mohmmad Reza Naghipour, spokesperson of the Gilan Province Medical Sciences University, begged readers of the state-run Tabnak website to avoid travel in red areas, saying:
“Two cities at the entrance of [Gilan] province, Astara and Rudsar, are code red areas. As a result, we are calling on people to refrain from unnecessary traveling.”
Over 39,000 people have died of the novel #coronavirus in 312 cities checkered across all of #Iran’s 31 provinces, according to reports tallied by the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK as of Monday afternoon local time, May 4.https://t.co/wT6SyI4e0G
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 4, 2020
On Sunday, Reza Nejati, the spokesperson of the Coronavirus Task Force in Khuzestan, warned of possible quarantines on the provincial governorate website, writing:
“Given the high number of coronavirus cases in several cities of the province, especially Ahvaz, any city whose infection rate remains high in the next three days will be quarantined.”