The reported official figures on the number of coronavirus cases in Iran are “not real,” said Masoud Pezeshkian, the first deputy speaker of Iran’s parliament on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, 92 in Iran have died from coronavirus and there are 2,922 confirmed cases, according to the country’s health ministry.
The figures reported by Iran’s health ministry are “not real,” Pezeshkian said, adding that these figures do not include everyone who has been infected in the country.
Pezeshkian is not the first Iranian official to dispute the health ministry’s figures.
Iranian MP Gholamali Jafarzadeh Imenabadi had previously said that the death toll from coronavirus in Iran is “much higher” than the official death toll.
“Hospitals currently do not have enough space for patients … the situation will worsen day by day,” Pezeshkian, who is a former health minister, warned.
The deputy head of Qom’s medical university had previously said that authorities may resort to setting up field hospitals in Qom as hospitals have hit maximum capacity due to the coronavirus outbreak in the city.
The coronavirus outbreak will damage the “economy and everything else” in Iran, Pezeshkian said.
“If I was in charge, Qom would have been quarantined since day one and no one would have been allowed to leave the city,” he said.
The Shia holy city of Qom has been the epicenter of the outbreak in Iran and its neighboring countries.
The health of “five to six” infected MPs has deteriorated, according to Pezeshkian.
Twenty-three Iranian MPs have so far tested positive for coronavirus, according to a parliamentary official.
Several other officials have contracted the virus in Iran, which has the highest death toll in the world outside of China, the epicenter of the outbreak.