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Iranian government continues to falsify COVID-19 death count, information provided by hospital insider suggests

A nurse at the Khatam al-Anbia hospital provided 8forty with COVID death numbers that are hard to square with the government’s claims. 

A nurse at the Khatam al-Anbia hospital told 8forty that she and other hospital staff can’t go home anymore.

“If I go home, the hospital wouldn’t be able to help the patients,” she explained. “The COVID-19 cases are mind-blowing in the hospital, which is one of the biggest hospitals in Tehran, and the hospital doesn’t have enough beds for all patients, so we have to tell them to stay inside their cars and we treat them there.” 

Khatam al-Anbia is one of many hospitals in Tehran that are dealing with shortages in beds, equipment and staff. COVID cases have been so severe, that just a month ago official sources said there were no hospital beds left.

And yet, the official COVID statistics underplay that reality.

The Iranian government has been faking COVID-19 deaths and cases for almost a year. There were 42,000 COVID-19 deaths in July, but Iran’s health ministry only reported 14,405. Similarly, the number of individuals known to be infected by COVID-19 was 451,024, but the government reports showed 278,827, almost half of the original number.

Based on a Health Ministry report, 286 people died in Iran on May 17. But the nurse specified that the Khatam al-Anbia hospital lost nearly 60 people because of COVID-19. Khatam al-Anbia is just one hospital in Tehran, and 60 people died in one hospital out of 110 hospitals in Tehran. 

The nurse also stated that if the family of the patient is lucky, they can have their loved one’s body.

“We have direct orders from the government and the military to put the bodies in body bags and bury them behind the hospital or some other places. There are even some soldiers in the hospital to make sure we will do the work.”

The nurse revealed that due to a lack of space and shortage of equipment like ventilators and beds, patients are forced to lie on the ground or in their cars to await treatment. 

She also explained that she and the other hospital staff must live at the hospital for at least 2 weeks before being allowed to go home for up to three days, then must return to work. She said she loves her work and helping people, but wants to go home and see her husband and kids. She lost one of her friends who was a nurse at the same hospital because of COVID-19. 

“They were going to bury her body without her family, but the hospital’s staff including me didn’t let that happen to her.”

Khatam al-Anbia is just one of many hospitals with these issues. Critics say, the government is not helping enough to decrease COVID-19 deaths. 

Iranian officials were engaged in a COVID coverup from the very beginning. A doctor from the city of Qom told the BBC that the Ministry of Health was being pressured by security and intelligence forces. 

“The position of the security services was not to admit to the existence of coronavirus in Iran,” the doctor said.

It was only after two doctors pressured the health ministry that the first case of the virus was announced. The doctors, having lost their brother to COVID-19, released a video that pushed the health ministry to report the first official cases.  

This is not the first time the Iranian government has been accused of covering up the truth. On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was accidentally shot down minutes after taking off from Tehran International airport by an Iranian missile, because the military was on high alert. The Iranian government lied about the crash for four days before being forced to come clean after a recorded video by a security camera was released, which was verified by the New York Times.

So why is Iran’s government doing this again, this time with COVID cases?

After the original reports about real cases of COVID-19, the Minister of Health and Medical, Saeed Namaki, said, “We faked real cases because we thought people would be scared, and don’t worry, we’re not going to fake it again. Everybody should accept the truth and make sure to wear a mask and wash their hands.” 

However, according to reputable hospital sources, Namaki’s promise has been broken; the Iranian government is continuing to fake COVID-19 cases and deaths every day.

One 79-year-old Iranian citizen who spoke to 8forty for this article divulged that they don’t know why the government is doing these things to people.

“They are supposed to support people, but they are just acting like kids and prefer politics to people’s health care.”

Cover Image: Flickr/Nicolas Raymond

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