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Activists, Artists Demand Coronavirus Transparency From Government In Iran

People wearing protective clothing, masks and gloves, attend the funeral of a victim who died of new coronavirus, at a cemetery just outside Tehran, March 30, 2020

As the number of coronavirus victims rapidly grows in Iran, nearly 150 prominent Iranian political and trade union activists, as well as artists have slammed the Islamic Republic authorities for failing to contain the impact of deadly virus.

"Overshadowed by the moves towards privatization, a plethora of discriminations, lack of access to medical facilities and treatments has tremendously weakened the medical system in Iran and has pushed it to the verge of collapse." the signatories to the letter have asserted.

While there was no preparation to protect the public against a possible spread of the novel coronavirus, the letter has argued, "there were no sufficient moves to contain it after the outbreak."

The signatories of the letter from inside the country and abroad have noted there is almost a consensus that the ruling establishment has covered up the facts concerning the Covid-19 and failed to manage the crisis.

Based on the official data provided by the Islamic Republic authorities, 2,757 people have died of the Covid-19 and 41,495 infectedas of March 20 across Iran.

In the meantime, disregarding the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani's order, the Ministry of Health is still reluctant to disclose the number of infected people and Covid-19 victims for each region in the country.

Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) had maintained that the data provided by the Islamic Republic government is perhaps one-fifth of the real number of people infected or killed by the deadly virus.

"Years of attempts to modify the economic system in Iran have created a deplorable prospect for the country," the activists have asserted, adding, "Millions of Iranian workers are currently living under the poverty line, deprived of any sources of income, or unemployment insurance."

Moreover, the letter has highlighted the dire condition of imprisoned political dissidents, as well as the dangerous situation of medical sector workers.

In the meantime, the signatories have called on the government to allocate a "basic income" for all the people who are currently quarantined across Iran.

The signatories include the soccer legend, Parviz Qelichkhani, prominent attorney, Nasser Zarafshan, and renowned poet, Ne'mat Azarm.