- Published: Friday, 08 May 2020
In recent weeks, Iranian authorities frequently tried to persuade citizens and the international community that they managed to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
In this respect, they resumed many economic activities and reopened public centers. However, on May 6, the head of Tehran’s Counter Coronavirus Headquarters Ali Reza Zali said, “Tehran is contaminated with Corona.”
“High-risk groups should avoid being in the city. In the last 24 hours, Tehran’s hospitals admitted more than 212 patients with acute respiratory symptoms. Sixty-two people are under intensive care with acute respiratory symptoms in hospitals,” Zali said.
On the other hand, President Hassan Rouhani oddly pretends the coronavirus condition is normal and his regime has controlled the disease. “Regarding the coronavirus, we can compare ourselves with the most developed countries in the world. We have enough ventilators to export them to other countries,” Rouhani claimed.
Moreover, the government-linked experts raised alarms about the new waves of coronavirus. They blame the Rouhani administration over resuming the activities and sending millions of people back to high-risk workplaces.
“The administration pursues a security policy toward the socioeconomic consequences of the coronavirus. This policy will lead to a huge number of corona patients and the death tolls in society. Behind such a government attitude, an explosive increase in the country's economic and social problems will be inevitable,” Dr. Mohammad Reza Mahboub-Far, member of the state’s Anti-Corona Committee, said.
He also recounted the systematic concealment of the coronavirus’ death toll, saying, “According to the announcement of the Corona National Headquarters regarding the non-disclosure of statistics by the Civil Registration Organization, the secrecy resulted in people’s negligence and indifference over the risks and disease centers.”
On April 29, the state-run Sharq daily highlighted the systematic secrecy about the real fatalities of the COVID-19. “How can we get hold of the true COVID-19 death toll? The answer to this difficult question, at least in Iran’s current circumstances, is impossible. As we speak, this study is not even possible for researchers inside Iran because the relevant institutions, such as the Behesht-e Zahra Organization (the main cemetery of the Iranian capital Tehran), the National Organization for Civil Registration and the Statistical Center of Iran have in the past few months refused to publish the necessary information,” Sharq wrote.
Notably, the Health Ministry reported that “As of May 5, nearly 100,000 people in Iran have contracted coronavirus, and more than 6,300 have died.” However, the Parliamentary Research Center estimated that the actual number is several times higher than the Health Ministry’ statistics.”
Earlier, on April 25, Dr. Massoud Yunessian, a member of the scientific delegation of Tehran Medical Sciences University, said that the number of cases in Tehran is 20 times higher than the official stats.
“Tests have only been applied to half of the hospitalized patients. Only 20 percent of cases are hospitalized, only half of them have been tested, and only half of those tests turn out positive. Therefore, we can conclude that the real number of cases is 20 more than what is being reported,” the state-run Setareh-e Sobh daily quoted Yunessian as saying.
Additionally, the regime’s opponents believe Iranian authorities downplay the real number to ease public anger against the horrible mismanagement. On May 6, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced that over 39,500 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 314 cities checkered across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to PMOI’s reliable sources in hospitals and medical centers.
On the other hand, Hossein Erfani, head of the Health Ministry's Office for Combating Infectious Diseases, warned that "We are still far away from herd immunization in Iran. Therefore, some citizens are wrong to think they became safe and we can get back to normal life.”
He also said, “Less than half a percent of Iranians were infected with the coronavirus, while 70 to 75 percent of the population had to be contracted, according to the herd immunization method.”
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