Coronavirus — Rouhani Says up to 25 Million Infected

  • The President used the number to urge Iranian citizens to take the pandemic seriously.
  • Neither the President nor other official sources explained on what estimates the study cited is based.
  • Iran initially denied there was an outbreak, amid elections and demonstrations celebrating the Islamic Revolution.

The President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has today admitted that 25 million Iranians may have been infected with the coronavirus since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in February. The Iranian president relied on a study by the Iranian Ministry of Health to arrive at the high figures.

On 19 February 2020, Iran reported its first confirmed cases of infections in Qom. As of July 18, there were 271,606 reported cases and 13,979 deaths. Both are rumored to be substantially higher.

At the same time, the President used the number to urge Iranian citizens to take the pandemic seriously, and keep on observing safety measures to halt the spread of the pandemic. The President elaborated that more than 200,000 people are in hospital and that the ministry expects that number to double in the coming months.

“Our estimate is that until now 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus and about 14,000 have lost their dear lives,” Rouhani said in the speech. “There is the possibility that between 30 and 35 million other people will be at risk.”

Neither the President nor other official sources explained on what estimates the study cited is based, which was not made available to the public. However, Rouhani’s statements demonstrate that the Iranian authorities acknowledge that the numbers that have so far been made public greatly fall short of the reality on the ground.

Rouhani also predicts that, soon, the number of hospitalizations will  soon be “twice as many as what the country has witnessed in the last 150 days.” The Iranian capital, Tehran, has, as of today, new restrictions, in response to the serious increase in cases in recent weeks. The restrictions include the closure of public spaces such as cafes, zoos, and indoor pools.

Iran was the scene of the most serious outbreak in the Middle East region, with more than 270,000 confirmed cases and close to 14,000 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 2,166 new cases and 188 deaths have been reported in the country according to records by the Iranian Ministry of Health.

Hassan Rouhani is the seventh and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has been a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts since 1999, and was Chief Nuclear Negotiator from 2003 to 2005. He was re-elected President in 2017.

A parliamentary report released in April admitted that, given the lack of testing, the number of infected people in Iran could be “eight to ten times” higher than what had been reported. Iran officially registered the first cases of COVID-19 in February.

The local authorities initially denied that the virus had circulated in the country days before that, when there were elections and mass demonstrations on the subject of 41st anniversary of the revolution

The number of deaths by COVID-19 in Iran is based on deaths registered in hospitals, but the truth is that many people have died at home. At the same time, many families are asking doctors not to disclose the causes of death due to the pandemic to avoid social stigma.

The pandemic of COVID-19 has caused more than 590,000 deaths and infected more than 13.83 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report prepared by the French news agency, AFP. The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.

After Europe overtook China as the epicenter of the pandemic in February, the American continents are currently the ones with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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