The Deputy Director of the National Nursing Organization, Mohammad Sharifi Moqaddam, says the increase in Iran's COVID-19-related death toll is due to an "insufficient number of nurses" in the country's hospitals.
In an interview with the state-run Iran Labor News Agency on Saturday, Moqaddam said that there were 1.5 nurses per 1,000 people before the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran, and the figure has currently dropped to 1.2.
According to Moqaddam, sixty nurses have lost their lives so far during the deadly pandemic in Iran, and "the workload of nurses has increased tenfold."
Meanwhile, he criticized the Iranian government's lack of cooperation in recruiting nurses and not allocating the nursing field's much-needed financial resources. In the current environment, he has argued, no attention is paid to criticisms about the nursing condition in Iran, and "medical universities even expel whoever dares to object."
Earlier, the spokesperson for Iran's Ministry of Health, Sima Sadat Lari, reported that about 25 percent of Iranian nurses were tested positive for COVID-19. Out of the total number of nurses involved in combating the pandemic, 3,165 were on sick leave and quarantined for two weeks, Lari disclosed.
The prevalence of coronavirus in Iran has spread widely among medical staff, and a considerable number of doctors, nurses, and hospital staff have died of COVID-19.
On October 20, the Iranian Nursing Organization deputy head, Hamid Reza Azizi, told the Iranian government's official news agency, IRNA, that "currently, about 6,000 nurses are on sick leave for having COVID-19 symptoms."
According to Azizi, "more than 31,000" nurses in Iran have been diagnosed with COVID-19.