They are regarded as heroes, their fallen colleagues as martyrs. But for doctors and nurses still dealing with Iran’s growing number of coronavirus infections, such praise rings hollow.
While crippling sanctions imposed by the U.S. government left the country ill-equipped to deal with the fast-moving virus, some medical professionals say government and religious leaders bear the brunt of the blame for allowing the virus to spread — and for hiding how much it had spread.
Those medical workers say they were defenseless to handle the contagion. And as a result, doctors and nurses in Iran have been hard hit by the virus. During the first 90 days of the virus outbreak alone, about one medical staffer died each day and dozens became infected.
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“We are heading fast toward a disaster,” said a young Isfahan doctor who has been working tirelessly, checking dozens of suspected coronavirus patients before referring them to hospitals.
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It is no secret that Iran has been hit hard by the coronavirus. Official government figures show that around 100,000 people were infected by the virus and around 6,500 have died. But a report by the research arm of Iran’s parliament said the number of cases could be eight to 10 times higher,