Coronavirus death toll in Iran ‘much higher’ than what govt says: MP

An Iranian woman wears a protective mask to prevent contracting coronavirus, as she is seen at a drug store in Tehran. (Reuters)

The death toll from coronavirus in Iran is “much higher” than the official death toll, Iranian MP Gholamali Jafarzadeh Imenabadi said on Friday, adding that he has documented “horrific numbers” from cemeteries in his city Rasht in northern Iran.

The official death toll in Iran has risen to 34 and the total number of confirmed cases to 388 as of Friday.

Imenabadi urged authorities to provide the real statistics, saying that officials “repeatedly hide statistics from the public.”

“I say this explicitly, the statistics presented so far are not true,” he said.

Imenabadi said he has received reports from cemeteries about the death toll from coronavirus that reveal “horrific numbers” that cannot be concealed.

Coronavirus Iran Map Infographic UPDATED

Coronavirus Iran Map Infographic UPDATED

“It is not as if we can hide the cemeteries,” he said.

“I have statistics about the number of deaths due to coronavirus from three different cemeteries in Rasht and I have to say that the numbers are much higher than what is being said,” Imenabadi added.

Another MP from Qom had previously said that 50 people had died from coronavirus in his city alone.

It is “mandatory” to quarantine cities where coronavirus has spread, Imenabadi said, adding that the Supreme National Security Council has opposed the idea.

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Government officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, have rejected calls and requests to quarantine Qom, the holy Shia city believed to be the main source of the coronavirus outbreak across Iran and neighboring countries.

At the same time, a member of the city council of Tehran has estimated the number of people infected with coronavirus in Iran to be as high as 15,000.

“The number of people infected with coronavirus across the country could be between 10,000 to 15,000,” the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted the head of the city council's health committee Nahid Khodakarami as saying on Friday.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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