Premature Return to Work Order Leads to Rising Number of Infections in Khuzestan
More than 39,800 people in 314 cities in all 31 provinces in Iran have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to figures released on Thursday by the MEK. The regime has officially reported 6,486 of these deaths to international health authorities, a drastic undercount that has been widely scrutinized by public health officials and questioned even within the regime’s own Ministry of Health.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 7, 2020
The death toll by province includes:
- Tehran: 6,650
- Qom: 3,290
- Gilan, 2,690
- West Azerbaijan: 1,215
- Sistan and Baluchistan: 1,091
- Fars: 1,005
- Hamedan: 985
- North Khorasan: 433
- South Khorasan: 135
- Other provinces: ~22,306
Worsening Conditions in Khuzestan
Regime President Hassan Rouhani’s decision to force Iranians back to work on April 13 has predictably led to the second wave of coronavirus infections. Khuzestan Province is currently seeing the disastrous effects of this second wave as a growing number of residents are falling ill.
On Tuesday, Farhad Abol Nezhadian, dean of Khuzestan Medical Sciences University, commented on the cause of the increase in infections. “Due to the relaxing of social distancing regulations from April 11 onward, we have witnessed an increasing trend from mid to late April… Most of the increasing number of cases have been in the cities of Ahvaz, Davey, Dezful, Shushtar, and Karoun… Most of the cases are in the city outskirts where the locals are poor and living in low-quality conditions,”, he said in remarks carried by the state-run IRIB television network.
“Coronavirus is spreading throughout Khuzestan on a massive scale,” said the head of Razi Hospital in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, in remarks published in the state-run Entekhab daily on Thursday. “Conditions are so bad that one in every two people coming to the facility needs to be hospitalized. Around 60 patients are here in the ICU with severe breathing difficulties and their conditions are very dire… This illness is very dangerous and brutal… We have never before had this many people come to the hospital. However, during the past few days, there has been a rise and the status quo in Khuzestan is becoming a crisis,” he added.
Kianush Jahanpour, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, reported on the conditions in Khuzestan on Thursday. “We are currently facing fragile and overflowing conditions in Khuzestan Province,” he said.
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) May 7, 2020
New Cases in Other Provinces
A new wave of infections has been reported in other provinces as well, with local officials disputing Rouhani’s characterizations of some of these locales as “red” or “yellow” areas where the virus has been partially or completely eradicated. “Our province remains a red area in regard to the spread of COVID-19,” said the deputy governor of North Khorasan Province in northeast Iran, in comments broadcast by the state-run IRNA news agency.
On Thursday, the state-run Aftab News daily quoted the deputy dean of Zahedan Medical Sciences University as saying: “In [Sistan & Baluchistan] province the number of new cases has increased six-fold and most of these cases are related to the past ten days.”
Maryam Rajavi’s Response
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), condemned the regime’s order to force Iranians to return to work while the virus still rages and placed the blame for the new infections in Khuzestan squarely at the feet of the mullahs.
“Khuzestan conditions during the pandemic are the outcome of criminal policies and plunder by Khamenei and Rouhani. The people and especially the youth in Khuzestan while observing all hygienic protocols, must independently take action to aid the sick and deprived,” she tweeted.