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How many people are infected? Why do experts say Iran may lie about the number of people infected with its new crown pneumonia?

2019-nCoV Special
 
[International News]     11 Mar 2020
On march 10th iran has more than 8000 people diagnosed with coronavirus, or nearly 300, according to the iranian health ministry death. making it one of the deadliest outbreaks outside china, after italy, which has death 460. But experts worry that iran, as an authoritarian and closed country, may hide the epidemic, the truth may be far greater than its public figures, and a local journalist even ...

On march 10th iran has more than 8000 people diagnosed with coronavirus, or nearly 300, according to the iranian health ministry death. making it one of the deadliest outbreaks outside china, after italy, which has death 460.

But experts worry that, as one of the world`s most autocratic and opaque countries, Iran is likely to hide its true epidemic from the world, the real number may be much larger than its published number, and a local journalist even suggests that the number of infected people may have reached more than half a million.


Pedestrians wear masks and plastic gloves in central Tehran, Iran. Photo: AP /Vahid Salemi


What is the latest news from Iran? 

At least 8040 people were infected with the new coronavirus, death .291, the Iranian health ministry said Tuesday night

According to media reports, about 30 Iranian officials have been infected, several of them death..

Those infected included one of Iran`s 11 Vice Presidents Masoumeh Ebtekar and the deputy minister Iraj Harirchi. of the Ministry of Health, including senior advisers to Iran`s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei).

Iran`s 31 provinces have been hit by the virus, most notably in tehran, followed by the shia haj city of kum and the popular northern resort of mazandalan.

Schools and universities across the country have been closed and the public is urged to stay at home.

A number of hotels have also been closed to prevent travel, although government have not been formally segregated.


Medical staff treated a patient with coronavirus at a hospital in Tehran. Photo: AP /Mohammad Ghadamali


Medical staff treated a patient with coronavirus at a hospital in Tehran. Photo: Associated Press/Mohammad Abu Dhabi Source: Associated Press


Why do experts know that numbers are higher? 

Experts believe iran may have initially lied about the number of infections and downplayed the severity of the outbreak to avoid affecting its turnout in the parliament elections just held on february 21.

For example, some Iranian officials accused hostile countries such as the United States of exaggerating the risk of the epidemic in an attempt to keep voters away from polls.

The Iranian health policy expert Kamal Alai (Kamiar Alaei) and he said :" Trust in the government was low after the brutal repression of protest activities in November and the cover-up of the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane following the assassination of General Kassem Soremani (Qassem Soleimani). Last week, Alash Alai (Arash Alaei) explained in an article in New York Times 》.

"High turnout in elections will help to improve the legitimacy of government. Tehran appears to have suppressed information about the coronavirus because it does not want to be affected by the election. "

Firefighters sterilize a traditional shopping mall in northern Tehran. Photo: Associated Press/Ibrahim Noruz Source: Associated Press


How high are these numbers? 

Estimates vary, but canadian researchers say that despite limited air travel between iran and other countries, the total number of infected people could reach hundreds of thousands given the global case-output model.

Given the variety of circumstances, a journalist in the Atlantic also suggested that there could be millions.

On a more modest occasion, Graham Wood (Graeme Wood) explained :" government website invites Iranians to submit details of the symptoms they experience. After 2 million responses, about 9 per cent reported COVID-19 symptoms.

"Approximately 10 per cent of those in the United States whose symptoms and medical history led to their need for COVID-19 tests were eventually positive. If this rate is maintained ,730000 people will be infected in Iran. "

Workers disinfect shrines in the shia holy imam abdul azim (Shima Saint Imam Abdulazim) to help prevent the spread of new coronavirus Shahr-e-Ray in southern tehran. Photo: AP / Ibrahim Noruz


Iranians have been advised to avoid travel and stay at home. Photo: Associated Press/Ibrahim Noruz Source: Associated Press


What did WHO say? 

A World Health Organization (WHO) sent a team of experts to Iran last week to help review and strengthen the country`s response.

Richard Brennan (Richard Brennan), the organization`s director of emergency operations, said Sunday that he was impressed by what he saw and heard.

"At Kum, they are impressed by the dedication and hard work of doctors, nurse and health-care workers, who should be proud of their health workers. "he said, wearing a mask.

"I think we`ve seen the patients in the hospital well cared for. And we have seen good efforts by the Iranian government in educating the people. "

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