The true number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Iran is more than double what the Iranian government has reported, a new BBC investigation has found.
Iran has reported over 312,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The country’s health ministry has reported 17,405 deaths and 270,228 recoveries out of a population of 81.8 million.
But according to recent government records reviewed by a BBC Persian service, nearly 42,000 people in Iran have died from symptoms related to COVID-19.
It also revealed that more than 451,000 have contracted the virus.
Iran has seen the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the Middle East but anti-regime groups and experts have long expressed skepticism about the figures the Iranian government was reporting.
The capital city of Tehran has seen the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country at 8,120, according to the uncovered data.
The northwest city of Qom, believed to be the epicenter of the virus in Iran, has seen 1,419 deaths or nearly 1 death for every 1,000 people.
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