Rouhani: Iran Could Have 100 Times Its Admitted Infections
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country may already have experienced as many as 25 million coronavirus infections. He was citing an unspecified report during televised remarks made on Saturday – when the country’s health officials listed a total of 271,606 confirmed cases since February, with 13,979 deaths. He did not deviate from the confirmed death toll, saying only that “about 14,000 have lost their lives.” If the report’s coronavirus figures are true, it would mean that about 30% of the Islamic Republic’s population has been infected. Iran has all along been considered the Middle Eastern epicenter for the pandemic (although in terms of percentage of people infected, Qatar’s official statistics already show that close to 38% of the population has tested positive, the highest in the world). After being slow to impose restrictions aimed at halting the spread, Iranian authorities began lifting them – although, as with many countries, apparently too quickly – and on Saturday announced widespread closures in the capital Tehran, including a total ban on religious functions, and full lockdowns elsewhere in the country that have been particularly hard hit.