Entrance Exams

MEK Iran: Entrance Exams Start while Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 92,300

Entrance Exams

MEK Iran: Increased death toll expected if social distancing is not enforced.

More than 92,300 people in 394 cities in all 31 cities in Iran have died from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a Thursday report from the MEK. The regime has confirmed 20,264 coronavirus deaths or about one-fifth of the actual total.

Entrance Exams Begin without Health Protocols

University entrance exams commenced on Wednesday, despite warnings from health experts who say that the proximity of the exams put test takers at risk. Eyewitness reports, as well as photos and videos, were taken on the first day of exams at Rajayee University and obtained by the MEK network, show no evidence of basic social distancing or safety protocols at the testing site. This places the students at an even higher risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19.

Eyewitnesses report that social distancing and safety protocols were not implemented in testing sites across Iran, despite a statement from regime President Hassan Rouhani. At a Thursday Coronavirus Task Force meeting, Rouhani defended his decision to hold entrance exams during the pandemic. “Such a measure, unprecedented across the globe, can first guarantee the health of the students, then their families and the entire society,” he said.

“As we prevented Covid-19 from closing down our economy, delaying the college entrance exams or preventing our annual religious ceremonies this month, by strictly abiding by health protocols to guarantee the students’ health, we must not allow any delays in the education of our students across the country,” he added.

No Access to Medical Treatment for the Poor

As Covid-19 spreads like wildfire through Iran, many are left wondering if they will be left without medical care should they contract the disease. An August 19 article on the state-run Young Journalists Club website quoted Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini in an article about the cost of treatment for coronavirus patients.

“Depending on the patient’s condition, the cost of coronavirus treatment ranges between 7 million rials (approx. USD 166) and 800 million rials (approx. USD 19,000) for each person,” he said. “Because of the different conditions of patients, the average cost of Covid-19 treatment has not been calculated, but normally the cost of Covid-19 treatment in normal sections is 60-80 million rials (USD 1,425-1,900) and in the intensive care unit (ICU) it is more than 180 million rials ($4,275),” Hosseini added.

While Rouhani claimed in March that the government and health insurance would pay for 90 percent of coronavirus treatment costs, that has not proved to be the case. Moreover, many nurses have been denied health insurance, and other workers have not had their insurance premiums paid by their employers for months. A substantial portion of the Iranian population simply cannot afford medical treatment for Covid-19.

‘I won’t be sending my child to school’

On Wednesday, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)-affiliated Fars news agency carried comments by Alireza Zali, head of the Covid-19 Task Force, who said Tehran is still a “highly dangerous and red zone,” adding, “This is exactly why it has been decided to continue the restrictions into next week.”

The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)-affiliated Mehr news agency broadcast comments by the Deputy Dean of Isfahan Medical Sciences University, who said, “On August 19, there were 935 patients hospitalized in Isfahan with coronavirus symptoms, and this doesn’t account for Kashan, Aran, and Bidgol. Two hundred of these patients are in ICU and 200 are under ventilator support. The Al-Zahra (hospital), which has 750 beds, has gradually entered the coronavirus treatment cycle. In fall the number of patients is forecasted to reach 3,000 and more hospitals need to be added to this cycle. Three pregnant mothers lost their lives due to Covid-19, a 25-year-old mother who died just three days ago, and seven other pregnant women are in bad condition. Under these circumstances, there’s no justification for reopening schools, and the education system only has one option: virtual classrooms. I won’t be sending my child to school.”

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