Iran’s embattled government, which has been working to quell protests that refuse to cease, has been underestimating its published reports about the coronavirus within the Islamic nation, according to a news report.
According to government data obtained by the BBC, 42,000 people in Iran died from COVID-19 through July 20. That’s almost three times the toll of 14,405 that had been reported by the nation’s health ministry.
Overall, official government numbers show 451,024 people infected, almost twice the publicly released figure 278,827.
The figures showed that in Mid-March, deaths spiked to five times the number reported to the public.
Data leak reveals number of people known to be infected by #coronavirus in #Iran is almost double official figures: 451,024 as opposed to 278,827. 42,000 people have died versus 14,405 reported by health ministry. https://t.co/iuIYVuh9dl
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) August 3, 2020
The BBC reported the data came from “an anonymous source” and includes “daily admissions to hospitals across Iran, including names, age, gender, symptoms, date and length of periods spent in hospital, and underlying conditions patients might have.”
The data shows that the first COVID-19 death in Iran took place on Jan. 22, almost a month before Iran officially announced the first COVID-19 death on Feb. 19. By the time it made that announcement, 52 people had died.
The health ministry has publicly said that Iran’s reports of cases and deaths are “transparent” and “far from any deviations,” the BBC reported.
On Tuesday, which would have been after the last date covered by the data leak to the BBC, Iran reported a record of 235 COVID-19 deaths, according to Agence France-Presse.
“The situation is worrying,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said, adding that “the number of daily hospitalizations in the country is approaching the peak of the disease.”
“Tehran, the most populous province, has turned red for the first time since the first peak of the virus,” she said.
Big China Virus breakouts all over the World, including nations which were thought to have done a great job. The Fake News doesn’t report this. USA will be stronger than ever before, and soon! https://t.co/pZwjvgmVTO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2020
Fake News media is also pumping the Iranian regime’s lies about the China Virus situation in Iran.
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) August 2, 2020
The BBC reported that doctors who have “direct knowledge of the matter” said “security and intelligence bodies inside Iran” are keeping a lid on the real numbers.
Dr. Nouroldin Pirmoazzen, a former legislator who also served as a health ministry official, said the coronavirus hit at a time when Iran’s rulers were in the middle of elections and still coping with the mass protests of last fall.
The government was “anxious and fearful of the truth,” he said.
“The government was afraid that the poor and the unemployed would take to the streets.”
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