No problem with Iran’s statistics on coronavirus: WHO

March 3, 2020 - 19:14

TEHRAN – The World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Sunday that the organization has not noticed any problem with Iran's statistics on coronavirus outbreak.

Some media have doubted the official statistics provided by the Iranian health ministry, citing the COVID-19 death toll in Iran is far exceeding that of official statistics.
There are “specific mechanisms” for investigating the facts, the WHO official told CNBC.

“There are reports in the media, but here is the World Health Organization which is a technical organization and needs to investigate the facts; We don't repeat what the reporters say, we have our own mechanism, and we haven't seen faults in the statistics.”

Kianoush Jahanpour, head of the Iranian health ministry’s public relations and information center, told IRNA on Friday that “the BBC Persian news network claiming that at least 210 people have died from coronavirus, is irrelevant.”

The BBC Persian is seeking to take political advantage of the coronavirus outbreak, he added.

“The media outlet’s claim is irrelevant. This time too it has drawn a blank,” the Iranian official said, adding that even the number of fatalities among those suffering from acute respiratory syndromes may not reach that high. 

Jahanpour said the channel had intentionally come up with the figure to sow fear among Iranians and reminded that it has stopped short of naming its sources.

He said the Islamic Republic viewed the issue of the outbreak as one that was tied to the public health, and would, therefore, avoid politicizing it.

The country has observed rigor and transparency in its reports on the spread, while many others are either incapable of exactly recording their cases or would deny the number of victims for political reasons, according to the official.

“I have to tell you that Iran is the first and the only country to release its information about coronavirus without any processing and in a fully transparent manner since the beginning of the outbreak,” Jahanpour told Press TV on Friday night.

The level of Iran’s transparency “has taken many by surprise,” including some media outlets, which are known for their siding with Iran’s enemies, and their support for the sanctions that have come to target Iranians, including Iranian patients, he stated, referring to the BBC Persian and similar media organizations.

It was “inhumane” for a media organization that claims to be professional not to name its sources, Jahanpour asserted, reiterating that the British channel’s claims were “politically-motivated” and aimed at disturbing the public opinion and creating “horror” among the Iranian nation.

The novel coronavirus has so far infected 2336 people across the country, raising the death toll to 77.

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