A member of Tehran City Council said on Sunday that since the coronavirus outbreak in February 10,200 residents of the capital have died of COVID-19. The official death toll of the country announced by the Health Ministry stands at 20,643.
Addressing a council meeting, Counselor Nahid Khodakarami also warned about the impact of the current month-long mourning ceremonies and the threat of a third wave of COVID-19.
Khodakarami on July 19 said the death toll in Tehran since February stood at 7,167, which brings the month’s numbers to a terrifyingly high 3,000. On July 27, Khodakarami said over a two-day period, 234 residents of the capital who had died of COVID-19 were buried in the city's massive Behesht-e Zahra cemetery. The City Council collects its information on COVID deaths from the cemetery.
The coronavirus situation in the country has deteriorated from mid-June, when deaths first passed the 100-people mark after two months and then rose to above 200. Circumstances have been particularly alarming in the capital, designated as a "red zone".
Over the last 24-hour reporting period, 141 people have died of COVID in Iran, according to the latest official announcement, bringing the country’s official death toll to 20,643. The figure for Tehran brings the official death toll for the entire country into serious question given the population statistics.
Tehran has a nighttime population of 8.7 million and according to Pirouz Hanachi, the Mayor of Tehran, more than three million people commute from the surrounding towns and cities every day.
Given the daytime population of the capital, which is about one-seventh of the country's population of 83 million, the country’s official figures showing 10,000 dead for the capital and only 20,000 for the entire country seems like potentially flawed data.
The official COVID statistics offered by the government have been widely challenged, even by the Parliament Research Center, which estimated the real number of victims as double the number announced officially.
The Health Ministry stopped the announcement of COVID cases and deaths in individual provinces on April 13 and has never released any figures for the capital Tehran and Qom, the ground zero of the pandemic in Iran and the country's religious capital.