“This magnitude of death over a short period of time is an international tragedy on a historic scale,” the authors said. “This interpersonal loss is compounded by societal disruption.”
Iran, the crucible of coronavirus in the Middle East, smashed two grim records this week, reporting its largest number of deaths in a single 24 hours since the outbreak started in March, and the largest number of new infections.
Iranian health officials openly admit Iran is deep into its third, and biggest, wave of the disease, and evidence suggests an exhausted and impoverished country is struggling to cope as trust in government diminishes, sanctions weaken the economy and hospitals report overcrowded intensive care units.
Mohammad Talebpour, the director of Sina hospital, the oldest in Tehran, predicted that if Iranians did not collectively take action and the disease persisted for another 18 months, as many as 300,000 could die. He said a third of the medical staff at his hospital had at one point contracted the disease.