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Iran's COVID-19 Death Toll 2.5 Times More than Official Figure

IRAN PANDEMIC CORONAVIRUS COVID19 -- Iranians wearing face masks go shopping around Tehran's grand bazaar in Tehran, Iran, 07 July 2020. Media reports state on 07 July 2020

A member of the Scientific Committee of Iran's Corona National Anti-Virus Headquarters has dismissed as "unrealistic" the figures that Iran's Ministry of Health officially announces daily as the COVID-19 death toll.

The real death toll is 2.5 times more than what the Ministry of Health claims, the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) cited Massoud Mardani claiming on Tuesday.

A day earlier, the death toll had set a record in Iran when, according to the Ministry of Health, 337 people died of coronavirus in Iran in the 24 hours before noon on October 20.

Referring to the official statistic, Mardani said, "The figure is not real either. To know how many people are lost every day, we should multiply this number by 2.5 to get the real number."

Earlier, several independent sources also expressed serious doubts about the accuracy of the daily statistics that the Ministry of Health of Iran provides. The COVID-19-related death toll is many times more than what the government claims, they said.

In a report headlined "Corona in Iran on the line of death, another state-run news agency, Mehr, also said, "The country is in such a situation that from every six or seven minutes a death, we have reached to one death per four minutes."

In recent weeks, the Iranian Ministry of Health has reported an increase in the number of patients admitted to intensive care units across the country in critical condition.

Experts had previously said that an increase in the number of positive cases meant an increase in the number of the COVID-19 victims. Iran's Deputy Health Minister, Iraj Harirchi, also warned people that "the hospital is not the place to fight the novel coronavirus, but it is the end of the line."

Meanwhile, Ali Akbar Haqdoust, a professor of epidemiology said that Iran is at the "peak" of coronavirus spread in an interview with state-run TV on Monday. Haqdoust predicted that in the coming weeks, "all urban and rural areas" of the country would be in a "dangerous situation, and at the mercy of novel coronavirus."

"The current state of contracting coronavirus and dying of COVID-19 is due to our wrong behavior," Haqdoust said, adding, "Less than 80 percent adherence to health protocols means failure in fighting against coronavirus transmission."

The prevalence of coronavirus in Iran has spread widely among medical staff, and a considerable number of doctors, nurses, and hospital staff have died from COVID-19.

Hamid Reza Azizi, the deputy head of the Iranian Nursing Organization, told the Iranian government's official news agency, IRNA, that "currently, about 6,000 nurses are on sick leave for having COVID-19 symptoms."

According to Azizi, so far "more than 31,000" nurses in Iran have been diagnosed with COVID-19 , and "about 26,000" have been treated while 54 have died.