Coronavirus Deaths May Be Much Higher than Iranian Government Admitted, Says BBC
BBC Persian cites Iranian health sources who claim that at least 210 people may have died from the coronavirus in Iran. If true, that is significantly higher than the official death toll of 34.
Health sources in Iran told reporters with BBC Persian that at least 210 patients in that country died from the Covid-19 coronavirus. The Iranian government denies the number and claims that only 34 have died. Either way, it is the largest number of coronavirus deaths in any country outside of China.
Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur rejected that report and stood by the official death reports placing the number of decedents at 34, Reuters reported on Friday.
However, Iranian Member of Parliament Gholamali Jafarzadeh Imenabadi contradicted the government’s statement and claimed the real death toll in Iran is “much higher” than the official death toll, Alarabiya reports.
“I say this explicitly, the statistics presented so far are not true,” he said. The MP added that he has statistics from cemeteries about the death toll that reveal “horrific numbers.”
“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 stated. He went on to say that Iranian officials “repeatedly hide statistics from the public.”
“It is not as if we can hide the cemeteries,” the Iranian MP concluded.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Reuters the United States offered help with the coronavirus to the nation of Iran. That offer was soundly rejected.
The BBC reports that Iran closed its Parliament “until further notice, citing the “outbreak and the risks it has.”
“The claim to help Iran in dealing with coronavirus, from a country which with its economic terrorism has created widespread pressure for the people of Iran and even closed the paths for buying medicine and medical equipment, is a ridiculous claim and a political-psychological game,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi stated, according to the Mehr news agency.
The debate over the number of deaths in Iran comes at the same time the World Health Organization upgraded the global risk from the coronavirus to the highest level, the BBC report continues. The global risk is now reported to be “very high.”
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