Hospitals in Iran struggle, with COVID-19 death in every five minutes
DUBAI (UAE) – Hospitals in many Iranian provinces are grappling to handle COVID-19 cases, health authorities say, with coronavirus turning fatal for around 300 people a day or one person every five minutes.
Authorities have raised concerns over poor social distancing, and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said it could lead to 600 daily deaths in coming weeks if Iranians fail to adhere to health protocols.
A caption that ran on state television news said an Iranian died of novel coronavirus every five minutes, corresponding to daily death tallies confirmed by the authorities of just above or below 300 over the past 20 days.
Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV on Sunday that 32,616 people had died of the disease and the number of confirmed cases had reached 568,896.
The report said that Iran’s official coronavirus figures were determined only by the number of deaths in hospitals and those who had already tested positive for the coronavirus.
As COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to hit record levels, the closure of schools, mosques, shops, restaurants and other public institutions was extended until Nov. 20, state TV reported.
Officials said “extreme measures and limitations” will be enforced in at least 43 counties across the country for one week. TV reported that 21 out of Iran’s 31 provinces were on a coronavirus red alert.