Iranian state media said that if residents ignore health warnings, millions of people could die across the country.
The Tuesday warning was issued by state-run TV journalist Afruz Eslami, who is also a doctor. Eslami cited a study from an Iranian university that outlined three potential scenarios for how many people could die during the coronavirus pandemic.
Iran claims that about 16,000 people have been infected and almost 1,000 have died, although that number is disputed. Some academics assert that there could already be thousands more cases. The National Council of Resistance of Iran, a dissident group working to overthrow the regime, claims to have tallied almost 6,000 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.
Iran has increasingly taken stronger measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including sending armed forces to clear the streets of people. Eslami said if people follow government orders, there would be about 120,000 infections and 12,000 deaths during the outbreak and that with medium cooperation, there would be 300,000 cases and 110,000 deaths.
Eslami said that if people do not follow government strictures, healthcare facilities could break down. She said that if the “medical facilities are not sufficient, there will be 4 million cases, and 3.5 million people will die.”
Worldwide, there have been at least 197,167 cases of the coronavirus, about 81,000 recoveries, and at least 7,900 deaths, according to the latest reading by the Johns Hopkins University tracker.