Iranian Official Contradicts President, Warns of Pandemic Shortages
A member of Iran’s official coronavirus task force has contradicted claims made by President Hassan Rouhani, speaking of shortages in medical personnel and hospital beds as the country fights a resurgence of infections. Reza Jalili-Khoshnood – himself infected and hospitalized in Tehran – was quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency as saying there was a shortage of beds at the hospital, including in the intensive-care wards, and that 172 members of the medical staff had either been infected or were away caring for infected family members. Rouhani has regularly said in public that there were no medical shortages in the country. On Thursday, a Health Ministry official announced an additional 198 deaths in the previous 24 hours, bringing Iran’s total death toll from the pandemic to 13,608. There were 2,500 new infections in the same period.