By Jubin Katiraie

Dozens of health workers in Iran’s under-equipped hospitals have died after contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) because they do not have basic protective equipment, like masks and gloves.

This includes:

  • Dr. Abbas Tusan, a 60-year-old ENT specialist in Babol
  • Dr. Mehdi Variji, Tehran
  • Tahmineh Adibi, nurse, Anzali
  • Hanieh Edalati, nurse, Takestan
  • Dr. Seyed Mozafar Rabiei, the former head of the Babol Medical Sciences University, who died in Amol
  • Dr. Samadi, Amol
  • Dr. Nirouie, Amol
  • Dr. Ibrahim Nejad, Amol
  • Dr. Tusan, Amol
  • Dr. Samad Babazeh, 53, Babol
  • Dr. Ali Shojaie, Kerman
  • Dr. Shirin Rouhani Rad, who treated patients at Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran while receiving IV therapy, because there were not enough doctors

In fact, 41% of those infected in Kerman are healthcare workers, according to Mehdi Hosseini Nejad, the head of the province’s Industry and Mine Organization, with the main reason being the failure to provide them with “masks, alcohol, and gloves”.

This does not spell good news for healthcare workers who are also struggling to obtain protective gear and equipment in other highly affected areas, like Gilan, Mashhad, and Qom.

In fact, the head of the Qom Medical Sciences University said that so far 40 doctors and 130 nurses have been infected in the provinces. While Javad Tavakoli, a member of the board of directors of the Mashhad Nursing Organization, told the state-run YJC website on March 7 that nurses in several hospitals had no protective gear.

He said: “Nurses in some hospitals are faced with a lack of protective gear including medical gowns, N95 masks, gloves, and disinfectants.”  

Worse is the authorities’ complete denial that anything is wrong. So far, 10,900 people have died from the virus, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, but the government is only reporting 2,000 deaths.

The regime is so desperate to pretend that they have everything under control – despite admitting that someone dies from the coronavirus every 12 minutes in Iran – that they rejected aid from the United States and the international non-governmental group, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders (DWB).

The team of volunteer doctors wanted to create a 50-bed inflatable hospital in Isfahan, one of the worst-hit areas for coronavirus infections, with an advisor to the Health Minister, Alireza Vahhabzadeh, tweeting that Iran does “not need hospitals established by foreigners”.

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