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Iran coronavirus update: 33,400 dead, officials bicker over false government stats

The novel coronavirus has taken the lives of over 33,-00 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK
The novel coronavirus has taken the lives of over 33,-00 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK

Reporting by PMOI/MEK  

Iran, April 21, 2020—Over 33,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 294 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 Tuesday afternoon local time, April 21. The official death count declared by the regime is 5,297, less than a sixth of the actual figure.

The death toll in various provinces include: 5,690 in Tehran, 3,050 in Qom, 2,620 in Razavi Khorasan, 2,470 in Gilan, 2,235 in Isfahan, 2,190 in Mazandaran, 1,318 in East Azerbaijan, 1,050 in West Azerbaijan, 465 in Zanjan, and 395 in Sistan & Baluchistan. This is in addition to deaths reported from other provinces.

Over 33,400 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

Over 33,400 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

To keep a lid on the true number of coronavirus victims, the mullahs’ refuses to provide the death toll of each province separately. This has raised protests even from the Tehran City Council where members are strictly vetted and literally hand-picked.

“Traffic in our roads have escalated significantly and considering the high volume in commuting we may witness a new COVID-19 peak by early May,” said Tehran City Council member Ms. Nahid Khodakarami, according to an April 21 report wired by the Fars news agency, an outlet linked to the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). “We are still insisting that statistics related to Tehran, as the country’s capital, be provided separately. We must know the number of new cases, death told and even the number of those critically ill… For scheduling purposes, city management officials need to know such data in order to plan for our priorities next and next month, and where we need to focus more. We need to have better knowledge about the virus’ trend in the city of Tehran,” she added.

These protests have also been raised in the regime’s own Health Ministry. “All across the globe, and even in countries that are considered clean, there are certain possibilities of a second, third or nth peak,” said the regime’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Haririchi, according to the state-run Tasnim news agency, an outlet affiliated to the IRGC Quds Force. “It is not correct to say that if we have a significant rise in Qom and Gilan, or a decrease, that the case of this illness is completely closed! When we were witnessing a peak in Mazandaran Province (northern Iran), we had reached the phase of managing this illness in other provinces. However, this does not mean we should feel assured or that we can begin to relax,” he added.

On Monday night Harirchi said during a state TV interview, “The novel coronavirus’ behavior is not known exactly, and we cannot specify a certain date for it to be considered under control or finalized. There is no guarantee for the decreasing slope to continue. Neither us nor any other country can announce that the COVID-19 outbreak has been controlled.”

Bijan Soleimanpour, the political and security deputy of the Qom governorate said, “In recent days, hospital beds in Qom are faced with an increase in coronavirus patients. If we are not vigilant, we will face a second wave of this disease.”

At the same time, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, member of the Majlis (Parliament) and close confidant of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, defended the government figures in a parliament session and said, “After the official statistics are released, the Tehran City Council claims that the Health Ministry is making up the figures and is playing with the people’s lives. This issue is not the City Council’s business. In another instance, Mrs. Zahra Sadr Azam, a member of the Tehran City Council said the number of coronavirus deaths is much more than the official stats. I think these remarks are irresponsible and I’m disappointed to see this happen.”

Meanwhile, state-run media are still warning about the possible consequences of mismanaging the crisis and refraining from allocating Khamenei’s vast economic fortune to counter the outbreak. In this regard, Setareyeh Sobh wrote, “Economic decision-makers must think about the 40-percent inflation rate of the country, which might become worse after this crisis… It seems that the alarming inflation rate is even more dangerous that the coronavirus.”

Jalal Sadatian, a former chargé d'affaires of the regime in England and a former MP, said, “Not only the government but also other parts of the rulership such as Astan-e Qods, SETAD, Mostazafan Foundation and the joint staff of armed forces are responsible for helping the people in these times.”