Iran is set to declare an "achievement" in fighting the novel coronavirus that will place it “at the top of the world rankings”, the Islamic Republic Minister of Health claimed on Monday, March 30.
Without any elaboration, Saeed Namaki reiterated that Iran had reached a "bright point" in containing the deadly virus and it will soon become the world's leading country in combatting Covid-19.
A day earlier, the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani had also boasted that, compared with the Covid-19 death toll in other countries, Iran has managed to limit its number of the coronavirus victims to an "admissible" level.
Critics say Iran's response to the pandemic has been haphazard and chaotic.
Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, and experts, journalists as well as ordinary people have been skeptical about the official figures released by the Islamic regime that keeps a tight lid on local and foreign media.
Based on the data exclusively collected for Radio Farda, 4,298 have so far died of Covid-19 in Iran's 31 provinces, while the government’s official toll is less than 3,000.
Meanwhile, Saeed Namaki maintained that 61,600,000 persons in Iran have been "screened" for the coronavirus, adding, "51,044,000 people are under inspection through telephone, and 10,005,000 more via websites."
According to Namaki, 218,800 persons needed a further check-up, 93,000 were checked at their homes, out of which 5,391 were confined to beds and put under treatment. Sixteen thousand forty-nine people were also hospitalized.
However, Namaki stopped short of saying how many of the people mentioned have contracted the virus.
Radio Farda's data show that 66,657 people have so far been hospitalized or isolated at homes for contracting the deadly virus.
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.