Covid-19 nightmare in Iran: The number of deaths per day is a record high

A 7-year-old girl hospitalized on suspicion of Covid-19 in Tehran. Photo: Reuters
A 7-year-old girl hospitalized on suspicion of Covid-19 in Tehran. Photo: Reuters

Iran has recorded a record number of deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours: 229, according to health ministry data on July 21.

Iranian Ministry of Health spokesman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television that the country now has a total of 14,634 deaths, 278,827 cases and 242,351 recoveries from Covid-19.

The previous record for Covid-19 deaths in Iran was on July 9 with 221 deaths.

Hospitals in Iran face a shortage of health workers and beds amid an outbreak of Covid-19, a senior official of the Covid-19 Prevention Division, Reza Jalili-Khoshnood, said. Reuters knew last week.

The disclosure contradicts President Hassan Rouhani’s assurance that Iran has enough staff and medical equipment. Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei often wear masks when appearing in public. They encouraged people to use masks to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus.

In addition, Mr. Rouhani once said “25 million Iranians may have contracted Covid-19”. On July 18, the Iranian leader “cited a new study by the Ministry of Health,” said the report, unprecedentedly high because the Iranian population is about 81 million.

However, one day later, the Iranian Ministry of Health corrected the presidential figure based on a ministry official’s data. That estimate is based on serological tests that measure exposure to the disease. Therefore, it cannot be relied upon to diagnose the current state of the disease.

Serological tests are used by countries to survey population patterns and estimate overall Covid-19 incidence. Iran is the hardest hit by the Covid-19 epidemic in the Middle East as the number of cases and deaths has risen sharply since the easing in mid-April.