Iran in Covid-19 fatigue with at least 16,000 deaths: The Middle East
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in Iran is extremely persistent. Officially, the current death toll is 16,147 and showing little signs of abating. However, the real death toll is probably much higher.
Iran was hit early by the coronavirus crisis, unlike other Middle East nations. This is based on strong connections with China when this nation was grappling with events in Wuhan.
Hence deaths in Iran began to climb in March. Yet positive signs emerged in late April to the middle of May when deaths began to fall. However, a gradual climb in late May – followed by increasing deaths in late June onwards – ended all optimism.
The Shia clergy didn’t help by expressing estrange conspiracy theories in the early period. Yet with more deaths occurring then a sense of foreboding began.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in early March said, “I don’t want to say it’s unimportant, but let’s not exaggerate… the coronavirus won’t affect the country for long and will leave.”
Regional Covid-19 crisis
Fears persisted that Iran’s involvement in Iraq would eventually impact on this nation. Thus Iraq’s scale of deaths is following Iran’s second stage.
The worse hit nations in terms of deaths in the Middle East are Iran 16,147, Turkey 5,645, Egypt 4,691, Iraq 4,535, and Saudi Arabia 2,789. Iran also shares a border with Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia. Both nations have also been hit by the coronavirus. Therefore, unlike the early period, Iran is now in a region where gradually more deaths are occurring.
The real increase of daily deaths especially applies to Iran and Iraq. Iran is also blighted by economic sanctions while involving itself in many regional conflicts. Meanwhile, Iraq’s infrastructure is in tatters following the invasion of this nation and countless Islamist insurgencies.
Hence fatigue is a real problem for Iran and this was expressed by the spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari. She said, “Our biggest concerns are the infection and fatigue of medical staff.”
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