DUBAI: Iran is grossly under-reporting coronavirus cases and deaths in the country, contrary to what various national and local media, regional authorities and health ministry officials are indicating, broadcast service Radio Farda said.
Radio Farda noted its data gathering indicated 3,036 people have fallen victim to the novel coronavirus, while 59,120 persons have tested positive and hospitalized for contracting the deadly virus in the country’s 31 provinces since February 19.
Government figures as of Wednesday show the outbreak has killed 2,077 people in Iran from 27,017 reported cases of the virus so far.
The Islamic Republic authorities are reluctant to publish the number of COVID-19 victims in the provinces of Tehran and Qom, apparently because of the high number of the victims in the two neighboring regions, Radio Farda said.
Qom, the largest center of Shiite seminaries in the world, Iran’s hotspot for the deadly virus. Many experts have blamed Chinese Shiite students in Qom for the spread of the coronavirus in the country, Radio Farda said.
The broadcast service likewise said that health ministry officials were insisting that their data were based on the final test of coronavirus on patients, but have excluded the number of persons who have had clinical symptoms of the COVID-19 but were not tested for the virus.
Radio Farda also said their data was a very conservative estimate, and the real number of the victims could be much higher.