The death toll in Iran is rising at fast pace. There is public health emergency in Iran. The situation is very serious as coronavirus continue to spread. According to the Iranian health officials-one Iranian citizen is dying every 10 minutes from coronavirus in Iran and 50 more people every hour getting COVID-19 infection. The shocking figure came as the official death toll in the country reached 1,284.
The health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said that “Based on our information, every 10 minutes one person dies from the coronavirus and some 50 people become infected with the virus every hour in Iran.” The total number of infected people has reached to 18,407. There are 1,046 new cases reported in last two days. Still the experts believes that the figure is relatively higher and being under-reported in order to contain panic.
The Coronavirus epidemic spread in Iran when the people were busy celebrating the festive season of Iranian New Year known as Nowruz. It is holiday season in Iran but government has asked the citizens to stay at homes.
Iran is currently under partial lockdown and the health ministry is encouraging its citizens to stay at home as the country observes the Persian New Year – Nowruz. With the country reeling from the outbreak, officials have recommended that Iranians stay home during the March 20 holiday, a time when hundreds of thousands usually travel to be with friends and relatives.
The Iranian government has closed all the education institutions- banned sports and cultural events, and curtailed religious activities in an effort to curb the virus. Despite the dire circumstances, many Iranians were angered by the temporary closure of Shi’ite sites, prompting some earlier this week to storm into the courtyards of two major shrines — Mashhad’s Imam Reza shrine and Qom’s Fatima Masumeh shrine.
Crowds typically pray there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, touching and kissing the shrine. That’s worried health officials, who for weeks ordered Iran’s Shi’ite clergy to close them.
The Western media is criticising the Iranian authorities for not properly handling the crisis but ignoring the important factor of US sanctions against Iran which is hampering the fight back of Iran. The Western media is not discussing the devastating impacts of extreme U.S sanctions. The Iranian nation is fighting two evils at a time today: the novel coronavirus and the US sanctions that have wrought havoc with their economy and health system.
The public health system and services are under immense pressure. There are shortage of medicines-medical equipment and supplies due to the sanctions. China is trying to help the Iranian authorities to stop the spread. But Trump administration is watching like a silent spectator the spread of virus.
It is harsh-inhuman and cruel attitude of Trump administration towards Iranian people. No one seems to care about ordinary Iranians because perhaps they have to pay for the alleged crimes of their regime. No one dares question how the United States could not end the sanctions against Iran, given the global pandemic it faces. With every passing hour, Iranians are dying as the authorities try their best to cope with the deteriorating situation.
Economic sanctions are collective punishment for a whole nation. The U.S and some other westerner powers want to overthrow the present regime in Iran but in that process they are punishing the Iranian people. The U.S has further tightened the sanctions on March 17 during the peak of this epidemic. The Trump’s agenda is clear. He wants a regime change in Iran and he do not care how many human lives could be lost.
It is wrong to believe that sanctions do not affect humanitarian aid or trade of necessary life-saving medicines, the truth is that the US even persecutes or threatens those companies which have sent such goods to Iran. This was revealed by a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published well before the pandemic in October, 2019.
The HRW report says, “On February 14, 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CBS News: ‘Things are much worse for the Iranian people [with the US sanctions], and we are convinced that will lead the Iranian people to rise up and change the behavior of the regime.”
The sanctions are badly hurting the Iranian people. The Iranian people are the real victims of U.S bullying. The US must end sanctions and allow Iran to mobilise necessary financial resources to coop with this pandemic. Iranian people must be embraced in this critical situation instead of isolating them.
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