The coronavirus is spreading rapidly, and threatening to become a worldwide pandemic.
Like all viruses, the coronavirus is no respecter of national or political boundaries, and in this case, it’s exploding across the repressive nation of Iran. So far, Iran has sought to downplay the impact of the outbreak, listing the death toll as 26, with 245 confirmed cases. but there is reason to believe that the government is lying to the world and its people.
The New York Times reports:
But health experts estimate the number of infections is far higher, possibly over a thousand, because the country’s fatality rate of about 20 percent seems so high. The World Health Organization has said the fatality rate is about 2 percent.
In the latest troubling news, several top government officials have been infected, and at least one, the former ambassador to the Vatican, Hadi Khosroshahi, has died.
Prominent Iranian cleric and diplomat, Hadi Khosroshahi passed away today, one day after he was admitted to a hospital in Tehran for testing positive #Coronavirus. Khosroshahi was Iran’s ambassador to the #Vatican and later Iran’s top diplomat in #Egypt between 2001 and 2004 pic.twitter.com/vbVnmLfOMs
— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) February 27, 2020
The Times continues:
Besides Ms. Ebtekar, the other Iranian officials infected include: Mojtaba Zolnour, a member of Parliament from Qom and head of Parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee; Mahmoud Sadeghi, an outspoken member of Parliament from Tehran; Iraj Harirchi, the deputy health minister who had been leading the effort to contain the coronavirus; Morteza Rahmanzadeh, the mayor of a Tehran district; Dr. Mohamad Reza Ghadir, head of coronavirus management in Qom and director of the city’s state medical university, and Hadi Khosroshahi, a prominent cleric and former ambassador to the Vatican.
Mr. Khosroshahi, 81, died, Iran’s official media reported. Elham Sheikhi, a professional athlete and member of the women’s national soccer team in her early 20s, also died after contracting the illness.
This is very troubling news. Our hearts go out to the Iranian people, who have suffered oppression and dictatorship for decades, and now face this terrible epidemic.
They deserve more than the lies their government is giving them.