In a shocker of a statement, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday told that 25 million citizens have been infected with coronavirus, and another 35 million face the risk of getting infected.
The population of Iran is a little over 80 million.
Now, across the globe, COVID-19 has infected more than 14 million people, which naturally makes Rouhani's statement eyebrow-raising.
Here are more details.
Rouhani's statement was based on the latest report of the Health Ministry. Strangely, the estimates are way more than what Iran has said in its national tally. According to available data, the number of infected persons in Iran stands at 269,440, with 13,791 deaths.
Iran is the eleventh worst-hit nation. It featured in the top 10 worst-hit nations a few months ago.
In a televised speech, Rouhani didn't let on as to what caused the mismatch in the numbers.
"Our estimate is that as of now 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus and about 14,000 have lost their dear lives. There is the possibility that between 30 and 35 million other people will be at risk," he said.
Earlier this week, Rouhani said Iran was now dealing with the second wave of coronavirus. The first bout, which lasted between February and mid-April, affected the northern and central parts of the country.
Since mid-June, the southern regions and border areas are facing a surge in infections.
The President is learned to have told the Cabinet that the second wave was stronger than first.
"We still need people's support and cooperation in the new round of the fight against coronavirus. With a collective effort, we can well overcome the second wave of coronavirus and reach a point of calm," Rouhani reportedly said.
This month, in a bid to curtail the virus' spread, Rouhani announced those who don't wear masks will be denied state services. Moreover, offices that don't abide by health protocols will be shut for a week.
He also said it's the "religious duty" of those who are infected to notify others.
"Keeping your infection a secret violates the rights of other people," he said.
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