By Jubin Katiraie
Four anaesthesiologists have died from the coronavirus at Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran, according to a health official.
Alireza Salimi, the deputy director of education and research at the Medical System Organization, told the state-run ILNA news agency on Sunday: “Unfortunately, the statistics are very high. In one hospital, seven out of seven anaesthesiologists were infected.”
Two of the four most health worker casualties at the hospital in the capital were Dr. Mahmoud Irvani and Dr. Ramin Sheikh Ibrahimi. Both were well-liked by colleagues and patients.
There are at least 120 casualties of healthcare workers in Iran since the start of the coronavirus pandemic there. The main reason is that those of the front lines are denied basic protective equipment, like masks and gowns. They might get one poor quality gown a shift, which means that they have to go long periods without being able to eat, drink, or use the bathroom because that would necessitate a new gown.
One nurse from Rasht’s Razi Hospital said: “Unfortunately, we have very little equipment. The gown I’m wearing is not adequate, at all. Every shift, I must give a new mask to my patient. I must give a mask and gloves to his companion. Unfortunately, gowns and personal protective equipment are very scarce.”
Another nurse, who spoke to the US’s Fox News on March 28, said: “We are using our own equipment for the patients. There is nothing else we could do. Whatever we have we use for the patients. We cannot do anything where there is no protective equipment. We must work without protective equipment and do the relocation of patients without protective gowns.”
It is incredibly dangerous that these brave healthcare professionals should be fighting this virus so unprotected. Would the authorities allow their armed forces to fight an invading enemy without bulletproof armor or loaded guns? That is, of course, a rhetorical question because the mullahs’ repressive forces use tanks and guns to disperse unarmed protesters.
While a March 30 report from Khoy said: “There is not a simple surgical mask for nurses in the hospital in Khoy. Nurses have to go to pharmacies to buy masks and protective equipment.”
This is even more shocking. The people doing the most dangerous job during the pandemic are not only suffering from limited and low-quality protective gear, but they also have to buy it themselves, putting themselves more at risk because they have to go into a pharmacy where they could encounter more sick people.