Iran faces shortage of medics, beds as virus cases spike again

Hospitals in Iran are experiencing severe shortages of medical staff and bed places as the country faces a second robust wave of COVID-19 pandemic, according to what said on Thursday a senior official of Tehranโ€™s anti-coronavirus task force.

Iran is the country in the Middle East hit the hardest by the pandemic, but decided to start loosening its lockdown in mid-April.

In early June a second wave of infections emerged as much more dangerous than the first one, said Reza Jalili-Khoshnood, who is himself infected, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Iran registered 198 deaths in the previous 24 hours of Thursday, arriving to 13,608 total deaths, according to Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari speaking on state TV.

Jalili-Khoshnood reported the semi-official ISNA news agency reported that in Shohada hospital of Teheran, where he is hospitalized, 172 among the medical staff resulted infected themselves or assisting infected family members. He added that were also shortages of beds including the ones in intensive care.

His experience contrasts President Rouhaniโ€™s official assurances that the Islamic Republic has enough supplies of medical staff and facilities.

Sadat Lari declared on the state television that the total number of diagnosed cases in the country had reached 267,061, with an increase of 2,500 in the last 24 hours.

Iranian authorities are concerned that tougher measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 could potentially weaken an economy that is already struggling under U.S. sanctions.

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