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Coronavirus: At least 70 people die a day in Tehran, says city council member

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At least 70 people die daily in the Iranian capital Tehran from coronavirus, a member of the Tehran city council said on Wednesday, adding that the daily number might be over 100.

Iran is the epicenter of coronavirus in the Middle East, with the government reporting 4,777 deaths and 76,389 cases as of Wednesday. While the Health Ministry gives daily information on a countrywide basis, officials do not give the death toll for individual cities.

The statement from Tehran city council member Nahid Khodakarami therefore helps shed light on how badly COVID-19 has hit Iran's capital.

“Every day, 70 people die from coronavirus in Tehran at best, and a little over 100 people die from the virus at worst,” Khodakarami told the state-run Shargh daily.

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Calls for more transparency

Mohammad Javad Haghshenas, another member of the Tehran city council, said on Monday that the coronavirus figures reported by the health ministry are “unclear” and do not match the figures available to the city council.

He called on authorities to present a separate report on the capital, breaking with the current policy of just reporting the nationwide death toll.

An official of Tehran municipality said on Sunday that authorities have prepared 10,000 graves for coronavirus victims in Tehran.

In a report published on Tuesday, the Iranian parliament’s research center estimated that the real coronavirus death toll is about twice the official death toll and the number of infections is between eight to ten times the number reported by the health ministry.

The center estimated the coronavirus death toll to be 8,609 and the number of coronavirus cases to be between 600,000 and 750,000.

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