However, a member of parliament said 50 people had died in the city
of Qom, 120 km (75 miles) south of the capital Tehran, alone in the past
two weeks from the coronavirus.
Meanwhile more than 10,000 drug
addicts have been quarantined in treatment centers in Tehran province to
guard against the coronavirus, state-run IRNA news agency reported,
citing a local official.
Health Ministry spokesman Kianush
Jahanpur, quoted by IRNA, said: “The number of deaths from the corona
illness in Iran has reached 12 and the number of infected has reached
But a parliamentarian representing Qom, Ahmad Amirabadi
Farahani, said that 50 people had died in Qom and 250 people have been
Farahani accused the government of being late
too announce the outbreak, and he said the city did not have adequate
equipment to deal with the crisis, according to the ILNA news agency.
Ministry spokesman Jahanpur dismissed the figure of 50 dead as a “complete lie”.
doesn’t have a right to express views on this issue and doesn’t have
access to information,” Jahanpur said, according to IRNA.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj told a news conference on state television
that if the number of dead in Qom were even one quarter of 50 he would
However, the dispute over figures between the officials
highlighted criticism of the government’s handling of the coronavirus
outbreak in Iran by both officials and Iranian citizens online.
another development, the head of anti-drug smuggling operations for
Tehran province said approximately 10,500 drug addicts have been
quarantined at treatment centers in Tehran.
“In order to prevent
the spread of the coronavirus illness among addicts, the treatment
centers for addicts will not release or receive any individual until
further notice,” Mostafa Hadizadeh said, according to IRNA.
suspected of having been infected with coronavirus would receive the
necessary care as quickly as possible, Hadizadeh said.
The outbreak in Iran has affected other countries in the region.