TEHRAN 

With Iran, one of the hardest-hit nations by the coronavirus outbreak, health workers in the Islamic Republic are having a tough mission struggling against the pandemic.

An Anadolu Agency team visited the intensive care unit of Firoozabadi Hospital in Ray city, south of the capital Tehran, to give a glimpse of the ongoing struggle of the medical staff against COVID-19.

“Conditions here are really harsh. One of our colleagues has recently lost his life to the virus,” Sima Tehemten, chief of the hospital’s intensive care unit, told Anadolu Agency.

“Patients are suffering a lot. We face a truly terrifying situation,” she said.

Tehemten said the hospital receives up to 80 patients infected with COVID-19 on a daily basis.

“Between 70 of the 90 patients admitted to the intensive care unit in the hospital in October and November were dying,” she said.

“I have been in this business for 25 years and I have not informed people about deaths as much as I did over the last 8-9 months,” Tehemten said.

“If our people came here to see the patients and knew about how bad their conditions are, they would not take the epidemic lightly.”

Tehemten said until last week, the hospital had no empty beds for new virus cases, except for beds emptied by patients who had passed away.

For his part, Muhammed Emin Abbas, a doctor at the hospital, warned that the pandemic may surge in the winter.

“If the government does not restrict the people’s movements and close entertainment centers and places, admission to the hospital will increase again,” Abbas said.

“If this happens, we will see a new surge in daily infections again. The pandemic will become more severe as happened a couple of weeks ago.”

Appealing to Iranians to take precautions against the virus, Abbas said, “Our people should abide by social distancing and wearing masks. If we pay close attention, we will not face a new wave of the pandemic in the winter.”

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

Iranian doctors battling coronavirus pandemic

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