Fear is Tangible as Iran Struggles to Contain Coronavirus Plague

Iranian family wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, as they stand at Grand Bazaar in Tehran, Iran February 20, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Nazanin Tabatabaee via REUTERS

The Islamic Republic of Iran cancelled Friday prayers for the second week in a row and temporarily released more than 50,000 prisoners in an effort to contain COVID-19.

According to official statistics, Iran’s coronavirus death toll is past 90 and nearly 3,000 Iranians are sick – including 23 top officials. Reza* with Global Catalytic Ministries says the numbers don’t quite add up. “The government isn’t very smart,” he says.

“They’ve announced how many people died, but they are lying about how many people are sick because the world is watching the virus.”

The coronavirus mortality rate is between two- and three-percent, Reza explains, but Iran’s mortality rate is much higher – somewhere between 10- and 20-percent. “So, everyone knows that Iran is lying about how many people are affected because of the mortality rate,” he says.

The real story in Iran

Major cities throughout Iran look like ghost towns. Business owners have closed up shop, Reza reports. Few people leave their homes for fear of getting sick, and they have a legitimate reason to stay inside.

“There’s videos of it; people are fainting on the street left and right. The only thing that it could be is the coronavirus because we’ve never had video of this happening ever in the years that I’ve been inside of Iran,” Reza says.

“Then, when [emergency responders] come, the ambulance [worker] is in a full hazmat suit picking these people up and taking them to the hospitals.”

Fear is tangible throughout Iran. Some exploit the crisis to spread misinformation. Reza says Shiite leaders claim their religious icons will protect people from the coronavirus. More about that here.

“Shiite Islam, the more mystical part… they’re telling people to come to the shrines [and] touch it; there’s even people licking it. It’s so crazy.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray the Lord will give His followers wisdom and courage in this difficult time. Ask Him to provide for their daily needs.
  • Pray this “time of chaos” will drive Iranians to seek after and find the one true God.

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