With every passing day, videos from Iran doing the rounds on social media continue to present an increasingly bleak picture of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. As the number of confirmed cases head towards 6,000, hospitals and medical facilities in the Ali Hosseini Khamenei-led nation are facing the challenge of overcapacity, and a new video suggests that the situation is worse than imagined.
A video shared by Masih Alinejad, an Iranian Journalist, on her Twitter account, adds to the concern surrounding the mounting pressure that the outbreak of the coronavirus is adding on the Iranian public health apparatus. The video shows a collapsed man outside a hospital in Tehran as people just look on.
Collapsed outside a hospital
The 17-second video shows a middle-aged man—who is likely infected with COVID-19—struggling to get on his feet. Narrating the ordeal that he is recording, the maker of the video says that the man collapsed in front of a hospital. According to the narrator, the hospital where the harrowing incident played out is the Rasoul Akram Hospital in Tehran.
As the man withers in pain on the ground and struggles to get up, bystanders only look on. Towards the end of the clip, a mask-wearing guard manning the gates of the hospital can also be seen only spectating the struggle of the fallen man.
Hospitals in Iran are full
The narrator can also be heard saying that the hospital has reached maximum occupancy and cannot admit more patients. It has been reported that hospitals in Iran have reached their full capacity, and in several cases, have been dealing with critically high numbers. According to The Guardian, Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh Emenabadi, a member of parliament from the city of Rasht in Iran's Gilan Province, recently warned that hospitals were heaving with COVID-19, victims and were unable to admit new cases.
Another video circulating on social media only contributes to the concerns surrounding the inability of the Iranian healthcare system to cope with the spread of the coronavirus. It shows another suspected COVID-19 victim, lying on the floor ground and going through the same agonising experience as the man in the first video.
The voice in the video says that the man hurt his head after having fallen several times. However, several calls from locals to hospitals seeking an ambulance to collect the man received only one answer—they had no ambulances. In the end, another man rushed him to the hospital in his own car.
Death toll in Iran rising
While South Korea continues to have the highest number of reported cases outside China—7,134, Italy and Iran have reported much higher deaths. The death toll Iran currently stands at over 145, with nearly 5,900 confirmed cases. Iran has also been criticised by its own people for not disclosing or hiding the exact number of causalities.
The total number of confirmed cases across the world currently stands at 106,165 and the death toll has risen to 3,594 as of now. Over 100 countries have reported cases of COVID-19. China continues to be the worst affected country with nearly 81,000 cases and over 3,000 deaths.