Contradicting Comments By Iranian Officials About The Increasing Spread Of Coronavirus
Although Iran’s Health Ministry officials have confirmed that the rate of coronavirus infections in the country has doubled in the third wave of the pandemic, the official daily numbers that the ministry releases are considerably lower.
A review of the official numbers announced by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health shows a maximum increase of 50 percent in the daily infection rates in the past two weeks, while another ministry official on Tuesday reported that the numbers have doubled.
The deputy director of the center for infectious diseases told the Islamic Republic News Agency that in the past two weeks in most provinces the number of new cases and hospitalizations has doubled.
According to this official, there should be at least 4000 new cases every day, but the official numbers released during this time barely gets close to this figure and vary from 2,063 to 3,712.
Despite this clear discrepancy, since the government has forbidden provinces from announcing their numbers separately, there is no way to investigate these numbers in detail.
The same discrepancy can be seen in the number of deaths. While the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health has talked of a daily increase in the number of deaths, the official numbers released by the ministry show a daily increase of only 70 deaths at most. Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Isfahan University of Medical Science has reported a daily increase of deaths from 10 to 30 in Isfahan city alone, while Tehran city council has reported a daily increase from 60 to 70 in Tehran.
These two provinces alone account for around 100 more coronavirus deaths a day, and while the number of deaths has supposedly increased in all the other 29 provinces, their share is only reported as 80 deaths a day.
According to the Ministry of Health, in the past two weeks, most of Iran’s provinces have moved into the coronavirus red category, from 13 provinces two weeks ago to currently 24 provinces.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many Islamic Republic officials, including several members of parliament, have expressed doubt about the official numbers released by the government and some even criticized the government for announcing “unrealistic” numbers.
Aside from dozens of online activists that have been summoned and arrested in recent months for commenting on these discrepancies, Mohammad Javad Haghshenas, a member of the Tehran city council was also summoned to court for criticizing the government for “hiding” the provincial numbers.