Iran continues to face global criticism over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
A fresh report from the BBC’s Persian wing claims that the actual death toll in the country could be as high as 210. This is six times higher than what the government in Iran reported. The report claims that an official in Iran’s health ministry leaked the official death toll.
It says that most of the deaths are from the capital of Tehran, and the holy city of Qom. But the government has outrightly rejected this new report.
The official death toll in the country stands at 34 with eight new cases being reported overnight. A spokesperson from Iran’s health ministry accused BBC of spreading lies and said that Iran’s transparency in publishing information regarding the virus had stunned many people.
This is not the first time Iran has been accused of downplaying the severity of the outbreak. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran’s infrastructure was not robust enough to handle the outbreak and offered assistance to the Iranian government. However, Iran completely rejected the offer. A legislator from Qom had also accused authorities of downplaying the outbreak and censoring the actual death toll. But the deputy health minister categorically denied the allegation.