Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 17, 2020—There are more reports of the Iranian people and international authorities becoming all the more suspicious about the lies repeated constantly by Iranian regime officials about the coronavirus epidemic in this country.
Dr. Rick Brennan, the World Health Organization emergency director for the Middle East, told Reuters the number of cases reported could represent only about a fifth of the real numbers. Tehran’s official numbers are 988 COVID-19 deaths. Considering Dr. Brennan’s remarks, the death toll should be considered somewhere around 4,900.
As of Monday afternoon, March 16, over 5,500 people have died of the coronavirus in 186 cities across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).#Iran#COVID2019 https://t.co/Q6XWahrbRm— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) March 16, 2020
UPDATE 8:30 PM CET
At least 5,950 people throughout 194 cities in all of Iran’s 31 provinces have died of the coronavirus, according to the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The number of COVID-19 victims in Isfahan Province is more than 600; 733 in Gilan Province; 501 in Khorasan Razavi Province, and at least 152 in Fars Province.
The situation is reported as very dangerous in Hamedan, Markazi (Central) and Yazd provinces. 129 people have died in Hamedan Province, 115 in Markazi and at least 120 in Yazd. The names of 100 victims in the cities of Aran and Bidgol of Isfahan Province have been collected by members of MEK Resistance Units and can be published.
Over 5,950 people across 194 cities in Iran dead of coronavirus, per Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK.— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) March 17, 2020
-WHO official: COVID-19 stats in Iran may be one fifth of real numbers
-Regime increasing measures to prevent publication of COVID-19 news#Iran#COVID2019https://t.co/HMPaeu8PCJ
The mullahs’ regime has also increased its oppressive measures to prevent further leaking of news about the coronavirus. Isfahan police chief said on Monday, March 16, that 60 cases have been activated in regard to individuals involved in publishing fake news on COVID-19.
On March 14 the police chief in Tehran said 27 individuals involved in publishing coronavirus rumors have been arrested. Keyhan daily, a known mouthpiece of Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, indirectly called for the execution of such individuals.
In other news, public anger is escalating in Isfahan, central Iran, over the lack of basic hygiene and medical necessities, and the lack of management that has resulted in chaos across the country. Most of the regime’s officials in Isfahan have fled the city in fear of COVID-19 or are remaining in their homes. The governorate, mayor’s office, and city council are shut down during most of the standard working hours.
Conditions in Tehran are growing more dire with each passing day. On some days up to 30,000 people are seen going to hospitals and a significant number of these people are infected with the coronavirus. Hospitals cannot address such a demand and many COVID-19 victims in Tehran, Qom and Golestan provinces are buried as influenza victims.
The Associated Press published a report citing “a study by Tehran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology, which offered three scenarios: If people cooperate now, Iran will see 120,000 infections and 12,000 deaths before the outbreak is over; if they offer medium cooperation, there will be 300,000 cases and 110,000 deaths.
“But if people fail to follow any guidance, it could collapse Iran’s already-strained medical system, Eslami said. If the ‘medical facilities are not sufficient, there will be 4 million cases, and 3.5 million people will die,’ she said.”
Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), expressed her condolences to the locals of Aran, Bidgol, Yazd, Arak, and Hamedan. Madam Rajavi also called on youths and popular councils across Iran to provide national support for those infected with the virus while observing all the necessary hygiene regulations.
NCRI President Maryam Rajavi once again called on the United Nations and the UN Security Council to intervene immediately for the release of all prisoners, especially those detained in the Greater Tehran Prison. Political prisoners in this facility are on hunger strike. These prisoners say they have been buried alive and a few inmates in this prison have already lost their lives to COVID-19.
3:00 PM CET
Eyewitness report from Qom – Sunday, March 15
“I returned to the city today. They’re burying many coronavirus victims in the city’s Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery… All the COVID-19 deaths are buried in this cemetery… The first 70 coronavirus victims were buried here and there when authorities didn’t know what to do. There is a cemetery near the Central Prison where several inmates who died of COVID-19 have been buried in a mass grave. Most of them were political prisoners. Authorities now have found a method to eliminate these prisoners and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) is behind these measures… The situation in Qom is quite devastating. I know many friends who are very concerned about their phones being under surveillance… At least 2,500 people have died to this day. From 2,200 to 2,300 are buried in the coronavirus section of Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery… There are five families in grief in the neighborhood that I’m living in. The authorities are extremely concerned and going the distance in their measures to keep a lid on the truth… It has become known to everyone that authorities are ordering everyone involved to not report the truth about the number of people who have died of COVID-19. Most of them are registered as heart attack, brain stroke and …”
Another eyewitness report from the city of Kavar in Fars Province, south-central Iran, indicates: “There is large machinery digging graves for coronavirus victims. Large trucks are also bringing limestone powder for the graves. Authorities are on high alert due to the coronavirus outbreak… the graves are very deep…”
Behrouz Nemati, a member of the Majlis (parliament), shed startling light on the coronavirus crisis in Iran. “The coronavirus crisis has engulfed the entire country and thousands of people are being infected each day. Why wasn’t Qom quarantined from the very beginning? Refusing to quarantine this city and portraying the status quo as normal led to the speedy spread of this virus to other cities,” he said.
State-run media are reporting that COVID-19 has spread to the Amin Abad Psychiatric Hospital where over a thousand patients are hospitalized and 1,150 staff members are working.
Heydar Ali Abedi, a member of the Majlis Health and Treatment Commission expressed further concerns in this regard. “The people believe the stats provided to them are not true and there is concealment involved. Our health and medical care system have been planned in a way that unfortunately we have no social health system. It is not right to dig up scientific reasoning and claim that there is no need to quarantine, and it is a method of the past. If we can, we should take quarantine measures and it is good. The truth is, however, we are not capable of imposing quarantine measures,” he said.
Following the regime’s refusal to take measures in confronting the coronavirus epidemic in Iran, locals have launched “popular councils” in various cities to prevent the entrance of visitors from other cities.
“When authorities refuse to prevent the entrance of visitors to the city of Yasuj, locals are forced to take matters into their own hands,” one individual said from this south-central Iranian city.