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Iran coronavirus update: 33,800 dead, security forces try to hide scale of COVID-19 outbreak

The novel coronavirus has taken the lives of over 33,800 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK
The novel coronavirus has taken the lives of over 33,800 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK

Reporting by PMOI/MEK  

Iran, April 22, 2020—Over 33,800 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 295 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 Wednesday afternoon local time, April 22. The official death count declared by the regime is 5,391, less than a sixth of the actual figure.

The death toll in various provinces include: 5,770 in Tehran, 3,090 in Qom, 2,660 in Razavi Khorasan, 2,310 in Isfahan, 1,570 in Khuzestan, 1,325 in East Azerbaijan, 1,095 in Golestan, 1,075 in West Azerbaijan, 900 in Kermanshah, 880 in Fars, 840 in Hamedan and 755 in Lorestan. This is in addition to deaths reported from other provinces.

Over 33,800 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

Over 33,800 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani, furious over revelations debunking his constant lies, resorted to saber-rattling in his remarks on Wednesday, April 22. “Why are people always looking here and there to find something and constantly exaggerate it. There are enough satellite networks to lie and exaggerate our mistakes. There’s no need for such networks inside Iran,” he said. “… There is a small minority that get their talking points from abroad and unfortunately repeat whatever they say… They doubt [official] stats, the medical services, the country’s progress and the state’s effective measures… day and night they seek such criteria.

On the other hand, former Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) chief Mohammad Ali Jafari emphasized today that the regime seeks to use “the coronavirus threat as an opportunity.”

“We must take these drills very seriously and use them to gain experience because there are dangerous coronaviruses in our society that we cannot sense. It is our obligation to use this capacity,” he said according to the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency.

 

 

Mohammad Hossein Ghorbani, deputy chair of the Health Commission in the regime’s Majlis (parliament) and the Health Ministry representative in Gilan Province, northern Iran, warned about easing social restrictions. “Cancelling commuting restrictions between provinces is dangerous and catastrophic, and can result in a new COVID-19 peak… Gilan is among the coronavirus hotspots and if necessary measures are not take correctly, the second coronavirus peak is quite close,” he said on Tuesday, April 21, according to the Tasnim news agency, affiliated to the IRGC Quds Force.

Mohammad Alikhani, head of the Tehran City Council Road & Transportation Committee, said 317 taxi drivers are infected with the novel coronavirus, 19 have died along with a taxi service employee in Tehran, according to an April 22 piece published in the state-run Shahrvand daily.

Meanwhile, the regime continues to mount repressive measures to hide its criminal policies and prevent the leak of information about the scale of the coronavirus outbreak. Ali Akbar Kiani, the commander of the Torbat Heydarieh security forces said, “After the publication of fake news about coronavirus in a social network, the Internet Police (FATA) has been tasked to handle this. Three women were identified as suspects and arrested in coordination with the judiciary.” (Source: IRNA, April 22)

The state-run Sharq daily wrote: “The government has placed the people at a crossroads. On the one hand, it tries to keep the people at home to prevent the spread of the virus. When the government shuts down businesses for any reason, it should take responsibility for the damages they bear. But on the other hand, to avoid paying for these damages, the government has reopened stores so no one can claim damages. Unfortunately, the reopening of businesses will push us back into the coronavirus peak. And when it happens, the government will have to spend billions of dollars on public health. Even Hassan Rouhani can’t choose one of these two. This double standard has caused despair in the population.”

While the regime is forcing the people to go back to work claiming that it can’t pay for the expenses of quarantines, today, the military declared the launch of a space vessel, which has come at a huge cost to the Iranian people.

The state-run Jahan-e Sanat described the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak as “shows and publicity” and the regime’s decisions as “contradictory and ineffective.”

“Presently, the economic consequences of the coronavirus, and by extension, the social consequences of this disease have become evident. Economic and socials collapse will be inevitable in the near future and it will be followed by social and economic unrest. But this time, the protests will be more intense and accompanied by violence, a phenomenon that can be described as a mega-protest movement which will encompass most lower and middle classes of the society.”