While surveillance has probably only picked up a tiny fraction of the cases inside Iran, the Iranian MOH announced 15 new confirmed cases (n=43) today, and raised the death toll to 8. It seems likely that only the `sickest of the sick' are currently being identified.
While the messaging by the MOH and the State run media IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) continues to paint COVID-19 as no worse than the flu, the extraordinary measures being order to control its spread must have many Iranians scratching their heads.This (translated) update from the Iranian MOH.
15 new cases of definitive Kovid 19 in the country
The head of the Ministry of Public Relations and Information Center said: "Yesterday and today, based on the laboratory results, 15 new cases of CVD 19 were reported in the country and the number of people infected with the virus increased to 43 in Iran."
Dr. Kianoush Jahanpour, speaking to a Webda reporter, said: "Of the 15 new cases of new coronavirus (Kovid 19) in the country, 7 are related to Qom, 4 are hospitalized in Tehran, two are related. The city of Rasht has one person from Tonekabon and one from the central province. Unfortunately, three of these people died and the death toll from Covid 19 has so far reached eight.
He also stated that today at the meeting of the technical and executive staff of Kovid Disease Control 19, it was decided to distribute health packages including masks, gels or disinfectants and training materials by Qom and Door houses from today.
The head of the Public Relations Committee's Coronavirus Countermeasures Department of the Ministry of Health noted: It was also planned to distribute a protective kit to all specific patients across the country under the supervision of the Transplant and Disease Management Center, with a mechanism to be specified.
Dr. Jahanpour added: The promising news is that the Scientific and Technical Committee has begun a new drug treatment for Kovid 19 patients in Iran after investigations. Also, health certificates for travelers abroad will be issued in coordination with the Ministry of Health's Deputy Health and Directorate-General for International Cooperation at the ministry's international airports for the time being.
He emphasized: With the announcement of the Minister of Health last night, all universities and higher education centers in 10 provinces will be closed by the end of the week.
Dr Jahanpour said: All cinemas, showrooms, sports Olympiads, conferences, seminars, camps and gatherings have been postponed until further notice and it is stipulated that competitions will be held without the presence of spectators.
At the end, he said: "We strongly recommend our dear people, personal hygiene, frequent hand washing with liquid soap and water, avoid contamination, smell and hug and disinfect, disinfecting devices and contact surfaces and Respect for breathing practices. Following these simple steps will be the key and the most important and most effective way to cut off the transmission chain.