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Exclusive: 67,000 Suspected Coronavirus Cases Hospitalized In Iran

Large posters urge people to stay home and not travel in the city of Qom, a hotspot of coronavirus in Iran. March 28, 2020

Data collected by Radio Farda show that 66,657 persons have so far been hospitalized or quarantined in 31 provinces of Iran for having Covid-19 symptoms, while the government reports 35,000 tested cases in the country.

Furthermore, the same data also indicates that 4,298 people have so far fallen victim to the Covid-19. The government figures indicate around 2,500 deaths.

Iran’s Health Ministry officials insist their data is based on administered coronavirus tests, and they exclude those who have just clinical symptoms of the Covid-19 but are not tested for the virus. Due to unavailability of enough test kits this could considerably keep the numbers low.

Radio Farda's data is based on the figures given away by central and local officials, and the number of people who have had symptoms of the deadly disease across the country.

The data collected by Radio Farda is also a very conservative estimate, and the real number of the victims could be much higher. The data show that most of the novel coronavirus victims belong to the provinces of Isfahan, Gilan, Mazandaran, Golestan, Khorasan Razavi, Tehran, and Qom.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic is still reluctant to publish the number of the cases for each of Iran's 31 provinces.

Meanwhile, several parliament members, have repeatedly noted that the data provided by the Ministry of Health is much lower than the real figure of the victims.

President Hassan Rouhani's top advisor, Hessamuddin Ashena, recently tweeted that his boss had ordered the Ministry of Health to review its method and publish the number of people who have had shown coronavirus-related symptoms, even without having received a test. The ministry has ignored the order so far.

Although officials have not published the number of people infected by the novel coronavirus in the province of Tehran, based on documents received by Radio Farda, the top official in charge of fighting the deadly virus in the province, Alireza Zali, recently disclosed in a session attended by the Islamic Republic Vice President, Es’haq Jahangiri, that 23,000 people in the province have been hospitalized for respiratory complications, out of which seventy percent were suffering from Covid-19.

Based on Radio Farda's data, 16,100 people have been hospitalized in the past month in Tehran. Moreover, at least 826 have died of the disease in the province.