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Iran coronavirus update: Over 162,800 deaths, official says 60 million Iranians may contract Covid-19

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has taken the lives of over 162,800 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has taken the lives of over 162,800 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, November 21, 2020—Over 162,800 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 465 cities checkered across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to reports tallied by the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) as of Saturday afternoon local time, November 21. The official death toll declared by the regime stands at 44,327, nearly a fourth of the actual figure.

The coronavirus death toll in various provinces include: 40,021 in Tehran, 9195 in Isfahan, 8960 in Khuzestan, 6790 in Lorestan, 6194 in East Azerbaijan, 5636 in Gilan, 5634 in West Azerbaijan, 4477 in Fars, 4380 in Alborz, 4161 in Sistan & Baluchistan, 4120 in Hamedan, 4076 in Golestan, 3543 in Kermanshah, 3128 in Markazi, 2859 in Kerman, 2837 in Yazd, 2608 in North Khorasan, 2434 in Semnan, 1580 in Ilam, 1461 in South Khorasan, and 1280 in Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari. This is in addition to reports obtained from other provinces.

“If we cannot break the virus’ chain reaction and the status quo continues, unfortunately I must say our daily death rates may reach 1,000 to 1,200 from late November into January,” said Rahim Shahriari, head of the Health Commission in the regime’s Majlis (parliament) on Saturday, according to the semi-official ILNA news agency.

Infographic-Over 162,800 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran-Iran Coronavirus Death Toll per PMOI/MEK sources

Infographic-Over 162,800 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran-Iran Coronavirus Death Toll per PMOI/MEK sources


Deputy Health Minister Reza Malakzadeh handed in his resignation letter to Health Minister Saied Namaki on Friday. “Extremely incorrect management and full of violations during the coronavirus pandemic, due to your refusal to consult and your neglect to recommendations and warnings issued by the country’s health experts has led to a very high death toll in Iran,” he wrote in his letter. “In the meantime, you are claiming to provide knowledge in managing Covid-19 to other countries. You have made unscientific remarks and hasty remarks on an Iranian coronavirus vaccine, which remains in the initial stages, while raising a brouhaha about the production of such a vaccine. Unfounded claims made by you and the Food and Drug Organization on herbal medicine being effective… and your lack of understanding of research and the neglect you have shown for all scientific and research activities by medical experts during the past seven years” are among your failures, he said.

“Epidemiologic research in Iran has estimated 30 million Iranians contracting coronavirus to this day, most of whom have no symptoms. Warnings were issued that at least another 30 million Iranians will contract the virus if the status quo continues. A harsh reality is that still our senior administrative officials have yet to accept this reality that the threat of coronavirus is more serious and expansive than they imagined. They are still looking for a shortcut and short-term solution,” he added, according to the Hamshahri daily.

Ali Nobakhth, advisor to the health minister, handed his resignation letter to Namaki on November 20, in which he wrote, “After your remarks in Isfahan, where you criticized the scientists and selfless doctors of Iran, and after the response of the research department, there is unfortunately no longer any way to work with you.”

After today’s session at the national Covid-19 Task Force, Alireza Raisi, the head of the Task Force, said, “The district-centric plan to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic started today with the help of the basij and the people… Starting from today, restrictions will apply to 160 red cities, 208 orange cities, and 80 yellow cities. Red cities account for 53 million people in population, and collectively, 79 million of the population are in third-, second-, and first-degree alarm conditions.” (Source: State TV, November 21)

The spokesperson of Isfahan Medical Sciences University confirmed on Friday that 1,179 new cases were identified in the province, according to Javan Daily, a newspaper affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). The spokesperson added, “There are 2,075 coronavirus patients in Isfahan province’s hospitals, aside from Kashan, Aran, and Bidgol counties. There are 379 patients in ICU. In the past 24 hours, 46 people have died.”

On Saturday, Javan quoted the deputy-dean of Fars Medical Sciences University as saying, “There are 2,777 patients in the province’s hospitals, of which 391 are in ICU. In the past day, 24 people died of coronavirus and the total number of deaths has reached 2,150.”

In Markazi province, the president of Arak Cemetery Organization said, “Arak Cemetery is operating with the lowest workforce. In comparison to last year, the number of deaths has doubled. There is no more space and we are struggling. We are currently at the peak of danger.” (Source: ISNA news agency, November 21)

Iran coronavirus outbreak death toll interactive map