The crisis unleashed in Iran by the surge of coronavirus in recent weeks has forced government officials to be more forthright with the public.
In late October, the average number of Covid-19 fatalities was over 300 per day, but a number of health officials have said the true number can only be determined by multiplying that figure by somewhere between two and four.
The deteriorating situation has also forced the government to increase restrictions and order more businesses to shut down, at least for a week.
The newfound transparency from officials is a hopeful sign but this apparent honesty has also served to shift responsibility on to the public.
Essentially, the government has announced that people must take precautions themselves and that it cannot be responsible if they contract the virus.
The coronavirus crisis is so bad that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has called for the mobilization of “jihadi forces and the mosques,” urging them to do their part.
“Patients in Tehran who go to treatment centers are in the most critical condition,” reported Dr. Alireza Zali, director of the Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce.
He said a list of patients who have been released from the hospital after testing positive will be given to “social institutions” and “neighborhood Basiji members” so that they can surveil these patients during house quarantine.
“To plan accurately and carry out the necessary interventions, a detailed record of infections, deaths, and releases from the hospital for each neighborhood at the end of the week is required,” announced Dr. Zali.
With these statements, the Revolutionary Guards and the paramilitary Basij have officially been brought in to fight the coronavirus crisis.
General Mohammad Reza Yazdi, commander of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran, reported that “jihadi groups” are preparing to follow the Supreme Leader’s command by “identifying individuals who transmit the disease.