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Iran COVID Deaths Down But Capital Tehran Still In Crisis

Workers in Iran carry body of coronavirus victim to morgue to prepare it for burial. April 6, 2020.

According to the latest Health Ministry announcement on Thursday, Iran's COVID-19 deaths are below 100 for a third day in a row. The number of new cases has not changed much as more testing is now being done. The situation in Tehran, however, is still escalating.

In his daily briefing on Thursday, the Spokesman of Iran's Health Ministry said the identification of 1,606 more COVID-19 patients has taken the total to 77,995 while the number of deaths at the national level is down to 92. Currently 3,594 patients are in intensive care due to coronavirus infection, he said and added that more than 310,000 coronavirus tests have been administered since the beginning of the epidemic in February.

On Wednesday Dr. Jahanpur had said that one-third of coronavirus deaths in recent days were being registered in Tehran. Iran's Health Ministry has never released the number of cases and deaths in Tehran and Qom, presumably due to concerns about national security.

According to Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, detailed reports are not being released in order to stop people from traveling from more infected provinces to lesser infected areas and preventing the virus from spreading.

In recent days a Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeesi and the Research arm of the Iranian Parliament have admitted that Iran's coronavirus cases and deaths are much higher than the numbers announced by the Health Ministry. The official figures are solely on positive RT-PCR tests. The results of the test are reliable only in 60 to 70 percent of the cases, the parliament's Research Center said in its report.

The report released by the parliamentary think tank on Tuesday estimated that the real number of coronavirus cases in the country may be up to 10 times higher than the cases identified by the Health Ministry while the real number of deaths may be nearly 8,700.