The coronavirus death toll in Iran has risen to 12 and the total number of confirmed cases to 47, state media reported on Monday morning.
The government upped its number to 61 on the same day, while an MP representing Qom said that 50 people had died of the virus in the city alone - a number rejected by Tehran.
“Fourty-seven people have so far been infected with coronavirus in the country based on a report by the health minister,” the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted the spokesperson for the Iranian parliament’s presiding board Asadollah Abbasi as saying.
“Unfortunately, 12 people have died from coronavirus to date,” Abbasi said.
Persian-language news channel Iran International put the death toll at 24 on Sunday, citing unnamed sources.
Abbasi also said Iran has no shortage of health and medical facilities and citizens should not worry.
“Based on the health minister’s report, coronavirus will disappear as the weather warms up,” he added.
A clip circulating online showed a state TV presenter making a similar claim.
“The weather will warm up and this virus will go away like the flu,” the TV presenter said.
“Do not worry, have some patience … I think I had it myself two weeks ago and now I am fine,” she added.
Coronavirus, which initially broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan, claimed its first victims in Iran on Wednesday when two elderly people died in the Shia holy city of Qom.