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Iran coronavirus update: Rouhani continues to lie about the scale of COVID-19 outbreak

Iran coronavirus outbreak—March 2020
Iran coronavirus outbreak—March 2020

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, March 29, 2020—More than 13,600 people have died of coronavirus in 232 cities checkered across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to reports compiled by the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) as of Sunday afternoon local time, March 29.

Over 13,600 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

Over 13,600 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

 

The number of victims in various provinces include: 1,800 in Tehran, 1,480 in Qom, 610 in Khuzestan, 360 in Lorestan 235 in Ardabil, 220 in Zanjan, and 90 in Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmad.

Meanwhile, regime officials continue to lie in an attempt to downplay the situation. On Sunday, the regime’s official coronavirus death toll was 2,640. 

In the government cabinet meeting, Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani claimed on Sunday, “Today, Dr. [Saeed] Namaki, the health minister, compared Iran to other countries that are dealing with this illness, and he said that Iran’s rating is acceptable.”

Rouhani said this blatant lie while on the previous day, the spokesperson for the health ministry had said that the country is faced with a shortage of ICU hospital beds as well as ventilators, and asked for help from international bodies.

Rouhani also said, “The reduction of deaths is acceptable, and the medical staff has the situation under control.” He also claimed that many of Iran’s provinces have passed through the peak of the coronavirus crisis.

But Rouhani’s remarks contradict the statements of his own government’s agencies, which had declared that deaths across Iran are increasing every day.

On the previous day, Alireza Zali, the head of Iran’s coronavirus committee in Tehran had said, “Due to the density of the population and the increasing commute in the final weeks of the Persian year, this illness is going through its post-hidden stage and is increasing.” On Sunday, Zali reiterated that the country is still in the “fever” stage of the epidemic.

Also worth noting is that Dr. Rick Brennan, the acting Regional Emergency Director for WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, had previously said that the figures published by the Iranian regime are a fifth of the reality.

“The number of cases reported could represent only about a fifth of the real numbers,” Dr. Brennan said after returning from a mission in Iran in early March.

Also contradicting Rouhani’s statements are remarks made by health officials. On Friday, Dr. Esmaeil Farzaneh, the president of the Khomeini hospital in Ardebil, said, “Presently, coronavirus has become contagious, and in the previous days, it has been on an upward slope. The statistics that are being published only represent we have tested and received positive results. This is just a fraction of the real number of people who have contracted coronavirus. Yesterday alone, in the [Khomeini] hospital, we had 147 CT scans and around 47 tested positive.”

Farzaneh also said that the hospital is working in full capacity and has a shortage of ventilators, and added that since February 19, his hospital has seen at least 1,000 patients who have had very evident coronavirus symptoms

From February to this day 350 physicians and nurses in Golestan Province, northern Iran, have been infected with severe respiratory illness and suspicious of having coronavirus, according to the Golestan’s Medical Science University dean.

Twenty to 30 people die in Tehran’s Baghiatollah Hospital on a daily basis, according to staff members. In Qom, central Iran, a physician says thousands of people are infected and the situation is getting worse with each passing day. In Zanjan, northwest Iran, at least five people infected with COVID-19 die each day in the city’s Vali Asr Hospital. However, physicians and medical staff members are ordered not to report the actual stats, or they will lose their jobs.

The entire regime is engulfed in this crisis. Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of the mullahs’ Majlis said, “We are witnessing two governments in one state and even no government at all. We are witnessing a dangerous no-government situation.”

According to a citizen report from Ardebil on Saturday, the number of coronavirus cases in this city is much higher than what the regime admits. “About 2,000 people have had positive CT scan tests, but this has not been included in the official figure,” the local said.

Other reports indicate that Mohammad Reza Khatami, the brother of former regime president Mohammad Khatami, has also contracted coronavirus and has been hospitalized.

Meanwhile, more reports obtained by the MEK indicate that the regime has been lying about the spread of the virus and has kept people in the dark for its own gains.

Rouhani had claimed on March 18 that the regime had found out about coronavirus cases in Iran on February 19 and had quickly informed the people without delay. February 19 is the date that the regime officially acknowledged two COVID-19 deaths in Qom.

But documents from the regime’s Emergency Organization show that on February 4, there were a considerable number of cases in Qom and Tehran. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) published the documents in a statement and reiterated that the regime’s coverup of the coronavirus crisis was aimed at maintaining its own political interests.