President Hassan Rouhani says 25 million Iranians infected with the coronavirus have overcome the disease, but another 30-35 million people are at risk of contracting it.
Citing a report provided by the Health Ministry, Rouhani announced the figures during a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus in Tehran on Saturday.
“Our estimate is that as of now 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus and overcome it and about 14,000 have lost their dear lives,” he said. “There is the possibility that between 30 and 35 million other people will be at risk” in the coming months.
More than 200,000 people were hospitalized over the past 150 days, Rouhani added, predicting that the figure would almost double in the future.
The president called for preparations to deal with the situation as hospitalization cases are increasing.
Based on the Heath Ministry’s report, he said, out of 1,000 people infected with the coronavirus, 500 have no symptoms and may not even realize they have contracted the disease. About 350 people have mild symptoms while 150 may need to be hospitalized.
Rouhani further emphasized that the Iranian people have no other choice but to join hands and break the chain of the outbreak by observing heath guidelines.
“Victory over the disease is possible, but it may be a little difficult and time consuming. We will definitely win and we must stand firm and know that victory is certain.”
Iran has been among the countries hit hard by the coronavirus that first showed up in China in late December 2019 before spreading across the globe.
Illegal US sanctions have hampered the virus fight in Iran, which reported its first COVID-19 infection cases in late February.
Rouhani said that some reports show that the disease probably began to spread in Iran from the provinces of Qom and Gilan where passengers had arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan.