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Iran coronavirus update: Over 42,400 deaths, new waves in many provinces

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has taken the lives of over 42,400 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has taken the lives of over 42,400 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 17, 2020—Over 42,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 319 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 Sunday afternoon local time, May 17. The official death count declared by the regime is 6,988, less than a sixth of the actual figure.

The death toll in various provinces include: 2,985 in Razavi Khorasan, 2,845 in Khuzestan, 2,615 in Mazandaran, 1,300 in Sistan & Baluchistan, 1,295 in Golestan, 1,170 in Lorestan, 595 in Markazi (Central), 490 in North Khorasan, 195 in Hormozgan, and 142 in South Khorasan. This is in addition to reports obtained from other provinces.

Over 42,400 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

Over 42,400 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran

“The coronavirus situation in Khuzestan Province has reached a critical point. The 434 new cases announced in Khuzestan is a high figure,” said a Majlis (parliament) member of Shush, a city in Khuzestan Province, according to a report wired by the Fars news agency on May 16. This outlet is known as the mouthpiece of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

“In provinces like Khuzestan, we are witnessing an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases… These provinces include Lorestan, Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmed, and the neighboring provinces of Khuzestan may be facing a new coronavirus wave,” said Iranian regime Health Ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpour, according to a report published on Sunday by the state-run Eghtesad24 daily.

“Khuzestan remains a code-red area… Regarding Lorestan Province more so, but also in the provinces of Kermanshah and Sistan & Baluchestan, we need to warn that there may be different circumstances in the next few days,” Jahanpour added, according to a report wired on Sunday by the state-run PANA news agency.


“Most cities in [Lorestan] Province are considered red or yellow areas. We have no white areas… From mid-April to this day, the number of COVID-19 patients in our province has doubled and some cities and towns have even witnessed 2.5- or 2.6-fold increases,” the governor of Lorestan Province said on Saturday, according to the Tasnim news agency, an outlet affiliated to the IRGC Quds Force.

“From around May 4, we have been witnessing the second wave of this illness in the eastern parts of [Kerman] Province. The number of positive cases has increased in comparison to the past,” said the dean of Bam Medical Sciences University in the city of Kerman, south-central Iran, according to a Tasnim report on Sunday.



Alireza Zali, the head of the Coronavirus Task Force in Tehran, said, “Presently, the number of coronavirus patient referrals to hospitals has surpassed the number of hospitalized patients. The truth is, following the reopening of some jobs and sectors, we’ve seen an increase in the volume of commute by citizens across the city, and this issue has caused much concern… The situation will definitely become critical again… Reopening [businesses] will be a warning for the country’s health officials.” (Source: Mehr News Agency, May 17)

All signs hint at the intensification of the coronavirus disaster after people were forced to return to work. The extent of the crisis is so evident that even the regime’s own state-run media are raising the alarm. Jahan-e Sanat quoted Dr. Massoud Mardani, a member of the Coronavirus Task Force, as saying, “We also warned the government to delay the reopening [of businesses] so that they don’t regret it next month.” Mardani added, “If hygienic protocols are not observed, the second and third wave of COVID-19 will engulf the society with a much higher intensity… Unfortunately, health has been sacrificed for livelihood, and the economy has become the main priority in the coronavirus situation.”

Mostaghel, another state-run newspaper, wrote, “The formal reopening of schools means that if you go to school and contract coronavirus, it’s not [the government’s] fault because schools are optional. If you don’t go to school and encounter educational problems, again, it’s not [the government’s] fault, because we’ve already reopened schools.”

Meanwhile, during a Majlis (parliament) session, an MP from Zahedan said, “The people of Sistan and Baluchistan are under the line of food security and to provide their children’s needs, they have to go out of their homes every day, 30 percent of the city’s population doesn’t have access to clean water and can't observe hygienic protocols… What do you expect from a province where 75 percent of the population is under the line of poverty and food security? What can you recommend to them?” (Source: Eghtesad Saramad, May 17)

The Arman newspaper wrote on Sunday: “The payment of the wages of many workers and even government employees has been delayed for three months. Many have still not received their New Year bonuses… In the social support hospitals alone, there are 13,000 coronavirus patients.”

Iran coronavirus outbreak death toll interactive map