Rouhani says 25 million Iranians infected with Covid-19

The unexplained number is far higher than the country's official infection toll of 269,440

A vendor wearing a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus adjusts his items as a pedestrian walks past on a commercial street in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said lockdowns over COVID-19 pandemic may lead to street protests over economic problems, though in Tehran, authorities have decided to impose some restrictions again over newly spiking reported deaths from the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that 25 million Iranians have been infected with the coronavirus and that another 35 million are at risk of acquiring it.

The figures, which Mr Rouhani said were based on a new Health Ministry report, are far higher Irans official toll of 269,440 infected. Mr Rouhani in a televised speech did not address the discrepancy.

Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, has been the Middle East country hardest hit by the epidemic.

"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, Mr Rouhani said in the speech.

"There is the possibility that between 30 and 35 million other people will be at risk," he said.

"In total, more than 200,000 people have been hospitalised," he said.

The Health Ministry on Friday said 13,791 people had died from Covid-19.