The number of Covid-19 deaths in Iran is almost triple the official figure, with the first death thought to be almost a month before the country reported its first case of the virus.

Official Iranian government records state the number of coronavirus deaths were about 42,000 as of Sunday, while the health ministry had reported just more than 17,000 on Monday, a BBC Persian investigation found.

Iran is the worst affected country in the Middle East and tenth globally with almost 310,000 reported infections. However, the BBC reported that the real figure is about double that.

Last month, President Hassan Rouhani said that 25 million Iranians have been infected with coronavirus and another 35 million were at risk of acquiring it.

The figures, which Mr Rouhani said were based on a new Health Ministry report, were also far higher than the official toll of 269,440 infected and the discrepancy was not addressed.

“Our estimate is that as of now 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus and about 14,000 have lost their dear lives,” Mr Rouhani said.

“In total, more than 200,000 people have been hospitalised.”

According to the BBC, the first recorded death was on January 22, a month before the first case was officially reported in Iran.

The report said Qom was Iran’s hardest hit city proportionately, with one Covid-19 death for every 1,000 people.

Source » the national