A health expert says as many as 800 Iranians have been dying of COVID-19 in recent days, apparently contradicting a government report that fewer than 400 people died of COVID on August 2.  

Payam Tabarsi, head of the Infectious Diseases Center at Darabad’s Masih Daneshvari Hospital, speaking on Good Morning Iran August 3, said that the daily COVID-19 death toll across the country was now between 700 and 800. He added that with over 5,000 hospitalizations and 37,000 Iranians testing positive for COVID, August 2 had been one of the country’s worst days since the beginning of the pandemic. “With this number of patients,” he said, “the healthcare system is collapsing.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the semi-official Islamic Students News Agency (ISNA) reported the government’s tally of COVID deaths over the preceding 24 hours: 378. As a point of comparison, the official COVID death toll in the United States, with four times Iran’s population, in the same period was 454.

On Monday, Iran’s outgoing deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi, said that compared to last week the number of outpatients testing positive for the virus had risen by 26.5 percent, and that the number of COVID hospitalizations and deaths increased by 22 and 38.2 percent, respectively. Harirchi also stated that nine out of every ten Iranian cities were red or orange COVID-19 zones. 

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