Iranwire – More than 1,500 people are dying every day from Covid-19, in stark contrast to Iran’s official figures, a member of Iran’s parliamentary health committee has said.
Official statistics put the number of daily deaths between 400 and 500, but Masoud Pezeshkian says the actual figure is more than 1,500.
On Tuesday, September 14, a group of doctors criticized the Ministry of Health’s policy in presenting data to the public regarding Covid-19. “It is as if they do not care about people dying,” they said.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic was first officially announced in Iran in late February 2020, the Ministry of Health has reported approximately 115,000 deaths. But a number of experts — including officials from the ministry itself — have stated that the real number of deaths is between two and four times greater.
Pezeshkian, a reformist politician who served as Minister for Health under President Khatami in the early 2000s, added that, thanks to political tensions in both the domestic and international arenas, the Islamic Republic had been “a little late” in procuring vaccines.
He stressed that the vaccines being imported in recent months were a result of orders placed and negotiated by the administration of Hassan Rouhani and that the current government had not yet ordered vaccines.
Several Iranian media outlets quoted the head of the Red Crescent as saying the increase in vaccine imports in recent weeks had been “the result of a telephone conversation between [president] Ayatollah Raisi and the president of China.”
The vaccine roll-out is the latest point of contention between Rouhani supporters and those who have welcomed the new government led by incoming hardliner president Ebrahim Raisi.