On April 29, the state-run Sharq daily questioned the accuracy of official figures in a piece titled, “Correlation of death statistics due to corona in Iran.”
“The official statistics of patients and victims of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 in Iran, as well as in many countries around the world, are still controversial,” Sharq wrote.
“Significant casualties indicate that the actual death toll is higher than the official figure. In Iran, since the first days, official statistics and the date of the virus’s entry into the country have been subject to serious discussions and questions. How many people have been infected with the coronavirus and how many have died of it? An accurate answer to this question and verification of official statistics requires access to other information and various components should be investigated. However, how much is this possible in the current situation in Iran?” Sharq added.
Several Important Talking Points
Until now, the author underscored several important topics in his piece, including:
- Iran has met “significant casualties” of the coronavirus.
- There is a difference between the actual death toll with “official figures.”
- The real number of the coronavirus’ victims is “higher than the official figure.”
- “The date of the [corona]virus’ entry into the country” is unclear and has yet to announce.
- There is a need to “Access to other information and various components” for achieving accurate figures.
The Iranian Resistance Is the First Source of Real Statistics and A Revealer of the Systematic Secrecy
From the early days of the coronavirus’ entry into Iran, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced that the regime’s statistics were significantly different from the actual figures of the coronavirus death toll.
Since then, the PMOI initiated to publish the more closed statistics to the reality relying on its vast domestic network in all of Iran’s 31 provinces. However, the real figure may never be exposed due to the systematic concealment applied by the mullahs.
According to the daily statistics of the dissidents’ media, the world realized the statistical difference and the clerical dictatorship’s secrecy over the coronavirus outbreak in Iran.
Also, On March 17, Dr. Rick Brennan, Director of Emergency Operations in the World Health Organization’s (WHO), after returning from Iran announced, “The number of cases reported could represent only about a fifth of the real numbers.”
Also, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) firstly questioned the real date of the coronavirus’ entry into the country and described the official date as a part of the systematic concealment by the mullahs’ regime.
Discredited Figures and Announcements by Iran’s Health Ministry
The Counter Coronavirus Headquarters’ spokesperson had frequently emphasized that the daily official statistics are based on the results of the experiments. In other words, what is announced is not all the statistics of the patients and the victims, but the statistics of the people who have referred to the medical centers and tested the coronavirus. In this context, we should know that as of the noon of April 28, only 442,590 coronavirus tests have been performed in Iran.
A simple calculation shows that out of one million people, only 25,269 have been tested for the coronavirus. Also, 92,584 tested positive from these stats and 5,877 people have lost their lives. In summary, the Health Ministry’s statistics give no details about the people who could not test or lost their lives without testing for the virus.
Ironically, on April 6, Ali Reza Raisi, Deputy Health Minister, had admired the “National Rally to Fight Corona,” saying, “About 70 million people have been screened so far,” according to the state-run Daneshju [student] news agency.
Death of 13,000 People in Tehran in Two Months Alone
Sharq had also suggested the New York Times’ method for achieving the real fatalities of the COVID-19 by comparing the death toll of a city or a country in the same period in the last year. Therefore, Sharq admitted to the dramatic death of 13,000 people in Tehran in the past two months.
On April 29, Mohammad Javad Haghshenash, a member of the Tehran City Council said, “In the past two months, we have buried 13,000 people in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra cemetery.”
He also refrained from declaring how many of the deceased had died from COVID-19. “I would not opine on how many of these numbers were related to coronavirus, not because he didn’t have the figures but because the Coronavirus Task Force has to declare them,” Hamshahri Online website quoted Haghshenas as saying.
Prohibiting the Announcement of Death Statistics
Notably, Behesht-e Zahra organization, the largest cemetery in Iran, avoids publishing burial numbers for the past two months. The head of this organization refuses to announce any figure, according to Sharq.
In an odd move, the National Organization for Civil Registration has yet to announce the death rate in the past four months. Additionally, the official website of this organization was inactive at the time of this report, according to Sharq.
Remarkably, given the decrease of road accidents and air pollution, and citizens’ observance of hygienic measures, most of Tehran’s 13,000 deaths have taken place due to the coronavirus. It is worth noting that Tehran is one of the hotspot provinces along with Qom, Gilan, Mazandaran, and Isfahan provinces.
Meanwhile, 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.
“The [official] stats are systematically lower than the truth on the ground … The applied tests don’t have a high sensitivity and only detect half the cases,” he said. “Also, 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 Younessian as saying on April 25.
The Reason for the Inclusion of Scattered Information and Doubts in Official Statistics in the State Media
As mentioned above, for weeks, the Iranian Resistance collected and declared the separate statistics of many cities in all of Iran’s 31 provinces in a 24/7 and high-risk effort. Statistics provided by the PMOI (MEK) have invalided fabricated figures of the Health Ministry.
In this respect, the state media shed light on a part of the truth for obtaining a reputation in fear of the public ire. However, these stunts would not be able to whitewash the mullahs’ hands in transferring and spreading the deadly virus across the country.
Of course, as the Iranian regime has yet to announce the victims of the November protests, it will not announce an ultimate and reliable figure about the coronavirus death toll. Authorities see Iran’s most important health crisis as a security issue that is tied to their fate.
Therefore, they will receive a harsh response on behalf of the volatile society if they honestly announce the real figure. In fact, in this scenario, they should be accountable for months of secrecy and non-transparency which resulted in unbelievable casualties and irreparable impacts on Iranian families.