A person dies of coronavirus every 10 minutes in Iran, health ministry says

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Iran’s health ministry said Thursday that a person is dying of coronavirus every ten minutes as caseloads continue to rise and hospitals reach a breaking point.

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.

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“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.

People wearing face masks exercise on the shore of an artificial lake, in Western Tehran, Iran, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Many people in Tehran shrugged off warnings over the new coronavirus as authorities complained that most people in the capital are not treating the crisis seriously enough. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness.

People wearing face masks exercise on the shore of an artificial lake, in Western Tehran, Iran, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Many people in Tehran shrugged off warnings over the new coronavirus as authorities complained that most people in the capital are not treating the crisis seriously enough. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP)

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.

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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.

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For the first time, authorities are admitting that the scale of the spread is much greater than they previously voiced.

In this Saturday, March 7, 2020 file photo, a cleric, right, assists a medic treating a patient infected with the new coronavirus, at a hospital in Qom, about 80 miles (125 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran. Nine out of 10 cases of the virus in the Middle East come from the Islamic Republic

In this Saturday, March 7, 2020 file photo, a cleric, right, assists a medic treating a patient infected with the new coronavirus, at a hospital in Qom, about 80 miles (125 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran. Nine out of 10 cases of the virus in the Middle East come from the Islamic Republic (Mohammad Ali Marizad/Rasa News Agency via AP)

“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.”