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Iran coronavirus update: more than 22,000 dead, officials warn COVID-19 cases still increasing

More than 22,000 people have died of coronavirus in Iran
More than 22,000 people have died of coronavirus in Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK 

Iran, April 8, 2020—More than 22,000 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 245 cities across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) based on reports tallied up to Wednesday afternoon local time, April 8. The official death count declared by the regime is 4,003, less than a fifth of the real figure.

The death toll in various provinces include: 2,900 in Tehran, 2,200 in Qom, 2,000 in Gilan, 1,720 in Mazandaran, 1,720 in Isfahan, 940 in Khuzestan, 880 in Golestan, 800 in Alborz, 420 in Fars, 390 in Zanjan, 370 in Yazd, 350 in Qazvin, and 240 in Northern Khorasan. This is in addition to cases registered in other provinces.

Over 22,000 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

Over 22,000 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

 

Regime president Hassan Rouhani continued his pathological lying and defended his plan to reopen the country’s economy and force workers to return to work while the coronavirus contagion has not been contained. “We are currently in the stage of controlling the disease,” Rouhani said in his daily cabinet meeting. “We don’t have any concerns. The hospitals and treatment centers are ready. Every hospital we call, there are free beds and ICUs.”

Rouhani tried to justify his dangerous decision, claiming, “With the current contagious virus situation, the easiest thing for the government to do is to tell the people to stay at home. But this is not possible. Some of the people get their pay by the day. If they don’t work one day, they will not have any money to put food on the table… what should we do for them? What should we do for the people whose work has come to a standstill in these two months… what should we do?”

But the regime’s leaders have billions of dollars in their possession which they can use to cover the expenses of the people who are staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus. The office of the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has control over $200bn in assets. But Khamenei has yet to spend a dime from his personal fortune to lift the pressure from the people.

Rouhani’s decision is also going against the recommendations of his own officials. On the previous day, Health Minister Saeed Namaki had said in a Majlis (parliament) session that the country is not in the phase of managing the illness and has not reached containing and controlling coronavirus. Namaki added that the regime should not get carried away or delusional about numbers.

Alireza Zali, the head of the COVID-19 Control Task Force said, “Presently, we don’t see many of the consequences of the presence of crowds in cities. We will see the effects in one or two weeks. The biggest strategic mistake is ignoring preventive measures to reduce the presence of people in cities and increase commutes. This could result in great damages to the efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. Particularly in Tehran, the situation is difficult. The behavior of the virus in metropolitan areas is more complex.”

Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, the head of the infectious diseases in the COVID-19 Task Force, had said in Rouhani’s presence that in most of the crowded regions of the country, the virus is still on an upward slope. Gouya said the number of coronavirus cases is still increasing in Eastern and Western Azerbaijan, Ardebil, and Alborz. He also stressed that the situation in Tehran is more worrying than other places, and that Charmahal & Bakhtiary and Khorasan Razavi are on a steep upward slope.

Workers, daily-wagers, and storeowners—that Khamenei and Rouhani have ruthlessly sent into the coronavirus abyss—comprise the majority of the Iranian population.

MP Nahid Tajedin made very worrisome remarks on April 7. There are “more than 11 million part-time workers” in Iran, she said.

The Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining, and Trade said to state TV on April 6, “7.5 million of our employed population are storeowners or work in stores. They provide for nearly 18 to 19 million people across the country.”

The state-run Sharq daily said 15 million people have part-time jobs and their families comprise 40 to 50 million people of Iran’s population.

Even the regime’s Majlis members are protesting this decision. “First there was neglect in managing flights into the country, and no one is willing to be held accountable these days… The various entities and organizations that always enjoy specific advantages and waivers, such as the Mostazafan Foundation, SETAD, Astane Quds Razavi and Oqaf, they should all come to serve the people for two months and place all their assets forward… We should not provide wrong numbers. The stats of 20,000 empty hospital beds is a hoax… How do we have so many empty beds now? Hospital beds have certain circumstances and we can’t describe any bed as a hospital bed,” MP Bahram Parsai said in remarks aired by Radio Farhang on April 7.

 

 

Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), condemned Rouhani’s latest remarks. “The Iranian people’s lives and wellbeing are not important at all for Khamenei and Rouhani. Their objective is nothing but safeguarding their rule in the face of future nationwide uprisings. The criminal decision to send people back to work is a crime against humanity and will render countless victims. The deadly result of this decision will not be limited to Iran’s borders and threatens to launch a new coronavirus wave in the region and other countries,” Madam Rajavi highlighted.

The NCRI President called for effective measures by the international community and once again emphasized that the Iranian people’s wealth—plundered by Khamenei and the IRGC—can be used to provide for the Iranian people to surpass this crisis. These riches must be taken out of the mullahs’ control and placed at the disposal of the Iranian people.

Iran coronavirus outbreak death toll interactive map