Iran belatedly concedes coronavirus crisis, estimates 25 million in country infected

Iranian president Rouhani says as many as 35 million more in country could be impacted in coming months. Current case estimate double the world's total.

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Iran President Hassan Rouhani this month in Tehran.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Updated: July 18, 2020 - 10:41pm

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday belatedly acknowledged the toll coronavirus has taken on his country, reporting 25 million Iranians may have been infected and 14,000 have died.

The staggering number means the estimated COVID-19 cases in Iran are nearly double the rest of the world's infections and represent about 30 percent of Iran's population.

Rouhani also suggested the worst is not over, warning as many as 35 million more citizens could be infected before the pandemic ends. Tehran began new restrictions on Sunday, with many public places closed and religious gatherings canceled.

“Our estimate is that so far 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus and about 14,000 have lost their lives,” Rouhani said.

Rouhani’s office said the number of infections was based on an “estimated scenario” from the health ministry.

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