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Coronavirus Task Force Member In Iran Says Up to Half A Million Infected

A medical aid worker sets up and installs a bed at a shopping mall, one of Iran's largest, which has been turned into a center to receive patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, April 4, 2020

Based on the latest estimates, about half a million people in Iran are suffering from COVED-19, a member of the National Coronavirus Combat Taskforce has disclosed.

Speaking to the Islamic Republic's official news agency, IRNA, on Monday, April 6, Hamid Souri asserted that since many patients suffering from mild symptoms of COVID-19 have not yet been detected, the estimate is not accurate.

Souri is talking about half a million infections, while Iran's Ministry of Health still insists that 60,500 are currently infected by the deadly virus.

Furthermore, describing the situation in Iran as "worrisome", Souri warned that the novel coronavirus curve in the provinces of Tehran, Khorasan Razavi, West Azarbaijan, Bushehr, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, and Semnan was moving upwards.

"The coronavirus curve has not flattened in any of the country's 31 provinces", Souri told the official news agency.

However, President Hassan Rouhani had earlier claimed that in some provinces the curve of the epidemic flattened and people could go back to school and work.

Implicitly responding to Rouhani's comment, Souri said that the decision to resume some activities was based on economic, political and even security-related "excuses", and it could significantly decrease the chance to successfully rein in the spread of the deadly virus.

Meanwhile, speaking at his daily video news conference, the head of Iran's Health Ministry's Public Relations Office, Kianush Jahanpur said on Monday that 24,236 people out of a total of 60,500 infected by the coronavirus have recovered while 3,739 have unfortunately succumbed to death. Over the last 24 hours, 136 people died due to the deadly virus, IRNA cited Jahanpour as saying.

Referring to crowded streets and heavy traffic in recent days in the capital city, Tehran, Jahanpur, cautioned, "If the current procedure goes on, within seven to ten days we will witness the virus peaking again in Tehran."

However, Radio Farda’s independent estimate based on local media reports puts the number of those infected at 95,000 and the dead at 6,800.