The number of coronavirus deaths in Iran would be almost three times as high as the Iranian government says: this is what the BBC’s Persian news channel writes that cites official and confidential documents, sent to the British broadcaster by an anonymous source.
The government figures are quite different from those disclosed by the Ministry of Health: almost 42 thousand deaths until July 20, against 14,405 publicly announced; 451,024 contagions compared to 278,827 reported. Also, the first death would occur on January 22, one month before the first official case was declared.
The secreted data also show that Tehran had the highest number of deaths, with 8,120 people who died as a result of Covid-19 or similar symptoms. The city of Qom, the first epicenter of the pandemic in Iran, has been the most affected proportionally with 1,419 deaths. One death from coronavirus per 1,000 people. The general trend of cases and deaths is similar to official reports, although of different sizes.
The initial increase in deaths is much more marked than the figures of the Ministry of Health. In mid-March, it was five times the official number. In almost all Countries, the cases are underestimated, due to the difficulty of testing. The information leaked by Iran reveals that the Iranian authorities have released significantly lower daily numbers despite recording all the deaths, which suggests that they have been deliberately hidden, the BBC denounced.
People seem convinced that the coronavirus is over, Health Minister Saeed Namaki warned in recent days. “The epidemic is not eradicated and could return at any time stronger than before.” He said. The government has not yet decided on new containment measures, but does not rule out drastic decisions. “If the population does not respect security protocols, we must prepare for the worst.” The minister had said. President Hassan Rohani affirmed that if the infection starts again, God forbid, the authorities will have to impose new restrictions.
Northern Iraqi member of the Parliament, Gholam Ali Jafazadeh Imanabadi, wanted to personally point out the lack of transparency in the official figures: “You can hide the numbers, but you can’t make the graves disappear,” he said from the earliest days of the epidemic.The government has not yet released any official comment on the BBC investigation.