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Bodies of Qom Coronavirus Victims Piled Up In Morgue, Lawmaker Says

The Revolutionary Guard distributing disinfectants for free in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus in Tehran. March 5, 2020

An Iranian lawmaker has said that bodies of victims of coronavirus (COVID-19) that have piled up in Qom and the desperation of people in Rasht, another hotspot of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, are evidence of inefficiency in alerting people to the danger of the outbreak.

In his tweet on Wednesday Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh, ​the reformist representative of Naqadeh and Oshnaviyeh in the Iranian Parliament, called on the authorities to enforce home quarantine of infected individuals in Qom and Rasht "to keep us from breaking the world death toll record" even if they do not want to quarantine whole cities. Rasht is the capital of Gilan Province.

On Monday a video showing tens of bodies of coronavirus victims wrapped in black sheeting and lined up on the floor in several rooms of the morgue in Qom was published on social media. The person who took the video said bodies had been piling up there for several days waiting to be washed and prepared for burial.

Video in this tweet showing tens of bodies, allegedly of coronavirus victims, in Qom morgue.

An official of the Prosecutor's Office of Qom said the person who made the "unlicensed" video had been arrested for causing "public concern" two days after the video of the morgue was published.

Gilan, Qom and Tehran provinces are the three hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran. Health Ministry officials have not revealed how many people have fallen victim to coronavirus in each of these Provinces and so far have only offered a total for the country in their daily announcements and ad hoc figures for some other provinces.

Mehdi Shadnoush who has been appointed by the Health Minister to manage the coronavirus outbreak in Gilan on Thursday said the situation was "grave" in the province. "There are people who have lost fathers, mothers and other loved ones to the disease in a short time and their other loved ones are now in hospital," he said.

On Thursday it was announced that 500 more have fallen ill with coronavirus bringing the total number of Iranians who have tested positive for coronavirus to 3513. The death toll has now risen to 107.

According to Iran's Health Minister Saeed Namaki 1,352 of those who have tested positive for the virus are in the capital Tehran. Namaki promised that more accurate figures will be available later as Iran has received new test kits.