Iranian MP: 50 dead from coronavirus virus in Qom

Orient Net 2020-02-24 10:27:00

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A staggering 50 people have died in the Iranian city of Qom from the new coronavirus this month, a lawmaker was quoted as saying on Monday, even as the Health Ministry insisted only 12 deaths have been recorded to date in the country.

The new death toll reported by the Qom representative, Ahmad Amiriabadi Farahani, is significantly higher than the latest number of nationwide confirmed cases of infections that Iranian regime’s officials had reported just a few hours earlier, which stood at 12 deaths out of 47 cases, according to Iranian regime TV.

Health Ministry spokesman Iraj Harirchi rejecting the Qom lawmaker claims, insisting the death toll from the virus remains at 12.

However, he raised the number of confirmed cases from the virus to 61. Some 900 other suspected cases are being tested, he said.

“No one is qualified to discuss this sort of news at all,” Haririchi said, adding that lawmakers have no access to coronavirus statics and could be mixing figures on deaths related to other diseases like the flu with the new virus, which first emerged in China in December.

Still, the number of deaths compared to the number of confirmed infections from the virus is higher in Iran than in any other country, including China and South Korea, where the outbreak is far more widespread.

Farahani, the lawmaker from Qom, was quoted in local media saying more than 250 people are quarantined in the city, which is a popular place of religious study for Shiites from across Iran and other countries. He spoke following a session in parliament in Tehran on Monday and was quoted by ILNA and other semi-official news agencies.

The lawmaker said the 50 deaths date as far back as Feb. 13. Iran first officially reported cases of the virus and its first deaths in Qom on Feb. 19.

I think the performance of the administration in controlling the virus has not been successful, Farahani said.

“None of the nurses have access to proper protective gears,” Farahani said, adding that some health care specialists had left the city. “So far, I have not seen any particular action to confront corona by the administration.”

Neighboring countries have reported infections from travelers from Iran in recent days, prompting several to shut their borders to Iranian citizens.

Based on AP

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