Iran parliament: Virus deaths nearly double reported figures
NASSER KARIMI,Associated Press•April 15, 2020176 Comments Ad: video resumes in 30s
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus pandemic is likely nearly double the officially reported figures, due to undercounting and because not everyone with breathing problems has been tested for the virus, a parliament report said.
Iranian health officials offered no comment on the report, which represents the highest-level charge yet from within the Islamic Republic’s government of its figures being questionable, something long suspected by international experts. Iran on Wednesday put the death toll at 4,777, out of 76,389 confirmed cases of the virus — still making it the Mideast’s worst outbreak by far.
The report, released Tuesday, comes as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani continues to push for a slow reopening of the country’s economy, which remains targeted by crushing U.S. sanctions. If its own figures offered to the World Health Organization are wrong, it adds to fears by some that encouraging people to return to work will spark a second wave of infections.
“In order to have more compatibility between protocol and estimated statistics, it is necessary to increase laboratory and testing capabilities in the country,” the report said. “Needless to sa