It's been suggested by experts for some time now that the COVID-19 situation is far more dire in Iran than the nation's government has been willing to admit. According to Iran, 10,000 of its citizens have been infected with the novel coronavirus, of which 429 have died. However, satellite images that appear to show mass graves being dug outside of the city of Qom are a bad sign that the number of dead may be far higher.
From The Guardian:
The pictures, first published by the New York Times, show the excavation of a new section in a cemetery on the northern fringe of Iran’s holy city in late February, and two long trenches dug, of a total length of 100 yards, by the end of the month.
They confirm the worst fears about the extent of the epidemic and the government’s subsequent cover-up. On 24 February, at the time the trenches were being dug, a legislator from Qom, 75 miles (120 km) south of Tehran, accused the health ministry of lying about the scale of the outbreak, saying there had already been 50 deaths in the city, at a time when the ministry was claiming only 12 people had died from the virus nationwide.
According to The Guardian, it's believed that, as China is Iran's primary trade partner, the Iranian government wasn't thrilled with the idea of halting travel to one of the few big international players who will still do business with them. This, combined with the Iranian government's reluctance to order social distancing or quarantine measures for its nation's citizens allowed the virus to spread faster than shit through a goose. Read the rest