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After weeks of skewed numbers and accusations of downplaying or covering up the coronavirus prevalence in Iran, the Tehran government is finally voicing the horrifying extent of the problem in its borders.
“Based on our information, every ten minutes one person dies from the coronavirus and some 50 people become infected with the virus every hour in Iran,” Kianush Jahanpur, the spokesperson for Iran’s health ministry, tweeted.
In the last 24-hour period alone, officials have acknowledged that around 150 Iranians have died. As of Friday morning, Tehran had documented almost 11,500 active cases and registers that all are a "mild" or "non-critical" condition, despite the ascending deaths.
The embattled nation’s official death toll this week soared past 1,000, making it the third-highest globally behind Italy and China, where the disease started. However, political opposition groups highlight that the statistics inside the Islamic Republic are even gloomier – indicating that upwards of 7,000 individuals have succumbed to the contagion.
For the first time, authorities are admitting that the scale of the spread is much greater than they previously voiced.
“The death toll may be higher, and the test results for (the victims) could have been wrong,” Ali Rabiei, a representative for President Hassan Rouhani said. “Some have died and we might not have known it was due to Coronavirus. There may be some shortcomings in the figures, and sometimes you may see a jump in our announcement.”