Latest reports from Iran indicate that the spread of the Coronavirus to at least 50 cities across the country. Coronavirus tests can only be done in Tehran.
Iran has reported more fatalities from coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, than any other country aside from China.
Iran’s Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday, February 25, the number of fatalities has risen to 15, but only 95 have tested positive. This proportion of deaths is unusually high because the 2% ratio of deaths to the people with the virus seems to be the accepted figure which would suggest at least 750 infections.
The state-run ILNA news agency citing a member of parliament reported on Monday, February 24, that 50 had already died in Qom due to Corona infection.
On Monday, February 24, a mullah died in Hamadan and buried in Bagh-e Behesht cemetery.
On Sunday, February 23, a patient died in Abadan. On the same day in Rasht, a physician died of Corona infection in the city’s Parsi Hospital where another two physicians, a married couple, are also hospitalized.
The President of Parsi Hospital declared the Coronavirus had come to Iran since a month ago, but the government did not inform the public. Instead, they instructed the hospitals to hush up the news.
Ahmad Amirabadi-Farahani, MP, told ILNA that the outbreak had started three weeks ago in Qom and that people had died as early as February 13, but officials did not announce it. He also tweeted that the President of the Medical Sciences University of Qom, Dr. Mohammad-Reza Ghadir, had been quarantined for testing positive.
Only a day before, Dr. Ghadir had warned in a live TV program that the situation in Qom was “critical.” He asserted that the government had ordered local officials not to announce any numbers to the public.
But Assadollah Abbassi, spokesman of the board of directors of the parliament, who speaking after a closed session with the Minister of Health, told reporters that only 12 had died and 47 had tested positive across the country.
The evidence in all cities also suggest a higher number of people suspected of carrying the virus.
Face masks and other medicines have become extremely expensive and an atmosphere of panic prevails most cities. The Ministry of Health has closed schools and universities in several cities, along with movie theaters. Theater and concert events have been cancelled. Professional soccer games will be played as planned but without spectators.
Qom is the epicenter of this epidemic in Iran, the zero-ground of the outbreak, since Chinese companies are operating in this city. It is suspected that an Iranian merchant travelling back and forth to China was among the initial careers of the virus.
Independent sources say Iran’s Mahan Airline has continued its flights between Tehran and Beijing. Mahan Airline is partly owned by the Revolutionary Guard and has been strongly criticized in the past two weeks for continuing its China flights after the outbreak in China was reported.
There’s an odd parallel between the regime’s falsehoods in helping spread of the coronavirus and its downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane, and the number of those killed in the crackdown on the protests in November.
On Saturday, the state-run news website Arman published an article about the reasons for the spread of the coronavirus, in which it wrote, “While officials of the health ministry could have shared the information with the people, they only declared the cases in Qom with much delay and after denying letters that were published on social media. Of course, the lack of communication in recent crises such as the downing of the Ukrainian airplane and refraining from declaring the casualties of the [November uprisings] have confused the people and negatively affected their trust.”