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Iran coronavirus update: Over 37,200 dead, officials "engineering" COVID-19 numbers

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has taken the lives of over 37,200 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has taken the lives of over 37,200 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, April 29, 2020—Over 37,200 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 306 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 29. The official death count declared by the regime is 5,957, nearly a seventh of the actual figure.

The death toll in various provinces include: 6,270 in Tehran 2,410 in Isfahan, 1,750 in Khuzestan, 1,179 in Golestan, 1,155 in West Azerbaijan, 935 in Fars, 850 in Lorestan, 820 in Semnan, 670 in Yazd, 421 in North Khorasan, and 375 in Bushehr. This is in addition to reports obtained from other provinces.

Over 37,200 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

Over 37,200 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

The true number of COVID-19 victims is actually far higher. In mid-March to into late April, many died in distant cities, towns, and villages. These records have not been registered and regime officials deliberately registered death certificates with reasons of death anything other than coronavirus. Medical sciences universities in all provinces are only reporting COVID-19 deaths and cases in hospitals under their umbrella. A large number of hospitals, including private institutions, hospitals covered by state foundations, hospitals controlled by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the mullahs’ army, state police, IRGC Basij and Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) are not covered by these universities.

As a result, regime officials are easily decreasing the number of coronavirus deaths/cases and engineering the stats based on their necessities. Experts and medical professionals are saying the actual number of COVID-19 is 20 times higher than the regime’s official numbers.

“How can we get hold of the true COVID-19 death toll? The answer to this difficult question, at least in Iran’s current circumstances, is impossible. As we speak this study is not even possible for researchers inside Iran because the relevant institutions, such as the Behesht-e Zahra Organization (the main cemetery of the Iranian capital Tehran), the National Organization for Civil Registration and the Statistical Center of Iran have in the past few months refused to publish the necessary information,” according to the state-run Sharq daily.

“From the very first day the numbers were faced with much doubt and skepticism. Coronavirus patients in Iran were registered as patients suffering from breathing disorder and lung problem. In numerous cases the patients were discharged from hospital based on their personal consent. All this specifically proves these claims. However, what is recently shedding more light on the disoriented nature of the [Health Ministry’s] numbers is the rumor of COVID-19 numbers being engineering,” according to the state-run Hamdeli­ daily on Wednesday, April 29.

Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani once again continued his preposterous claims and lies on Wednesday. “We are in such circumstances that we shouldn’t have any despair about the job we lost! Neither should we have such thoughts about the illness and dilemma facing Iran. We must continue to endure against both of these issues,” he said on Wednesday. “The people are calm. If they have a need for food, it is available in the stores. If they need hygiene supplies, it is available in their stores. If people need hospital beds, it is available… Many state leaders in our phone conversations would say we know your numbers, we know the process of your measures. Everyone expressed their gratitude for Iran being very organized and strong in addressing this virus.”

But Minou Mohraz, member of the Coronavirus Committee in the Health Ministry, said, “The fluctuations in the numbers reported by the Health Ministry indicate the coronavirus is becoming more active every day because the chain of spread across the country has not been broken and the contagion of this virus is very dangerous… Lifting restrictions and commutes deals a huge blow to the health of citizens and if the necessary measures are not taken, we must wait for other waves of the spread of the virus.” (Source: Vatan-e Emrooz, April 29)

The dean of Qom’s Medical Sciences University stressed, “Qom is still engulfed in the coronavirus crisis.” (Source: IRNA, April 28)

The state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote, “We don’t know why Mr. Rouhani is being hasty in the step-by-step reopening. These decisions will lead us to a stage where the danger for the country will be serious. Then we will have to see who will be accountable for the next incident.” 

Meanwhile, the regime continues to take repressive measures to prevent the spread of information about the COVID-19 outbreak. Mohammad Ali Rajabi, the president of the Iranian regime’s Cyberpolice Detection and Prevention Center, said, “We’ve seen many news and rumors that [the government] wants to cover up… At the same time, these actors are trying to create the impression that the country is dysfunctional and the country’s sanitary and administration system can’t manage the coronavirus situation… We’ve identified 2,000 websites and indicators in cyberspace. We’ve introduced 370 cases to judiciary authorities, which have led to arrests and court summons and commitments.”

In reaction to the revelation of the truth about the COVID-19 outbreak, Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesperson of the regime’s armed forces, said, “Regarding the measures taken to counter with rumor-mongers in cyberspace, the cyberpolice has taken some very good measures. 3,600 people who have been involved in spreading rumors in cyberspace were arrested by the state security forces and Basij. Our enemies constantly try to show their enmity and they have agents who follow their orders inside the country.” (Source: Farda News, April 29)

It is worth reminding that during the past few weeks, the Security and Anti-terrorism Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has published documents that prove the regime has been hiding the real scale of the spread of coronavirus across Iran.

Iran coronavirus outbreak death toll interactive map