Iran's death toll from the novel coronavirus has reportedly surged to 3,294 as 134 new fatalities were reported in the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur. The total cases now stand at 53,183, he said on state television, adding that 4,035 were "under observation", indicating that figures for the patients in the Intensive Care Unit. However, at least 17,935 have recovered, he said.
President Hassan Rouhani reportedly warned at a cabinet meeting earlier that there was no “quick fix” to the deadly pandemic and the containment efforts had to be strictly followed by the general public. He said, "Coronavirus is not something for which we can point to a certain date and say it will be completely eradicated by then.” Further adding, he said that the disease, “maybe with us in upcoming months, or until the end of the current Iranian year, in March 2021”.
Iran had earlier issued a direful warning to the citizens to remain under quarantine, suggesting that “millions” are expected to die in the Islamic Republic. A medic was quoted on the state television as saying that based on Tehran's prestigious Sharif University of Technology’s research and analysis, there could be a large number of fatalities if the containment directives were neglected. He stressed that the public must adhere to the social distancing protocol, to break the chain of transmission.
Another prestigious medical worker, Dr. Afruz Eslami, was quoted as saying that Iran might have over 120,000 infections, and at least 12,000 deaths in weeks ahead provided citizens followed guidelines that would flatten the curve. Upon failure of guidelines, the already overwhelmed healthcare systems will collapse, and over 3.5 million people will die, Eslami was reported predicting as per local media outlets. Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, prohibited non-essential movement for the religious groups, after their failure of compliance despite repeated warnings.