Hassan Rouhani has also urged the public to face the coronavirus pandemic with more seriousness, based on reports from state-run IRNA news agency.
The staggering estimates originate from a new study by the Iranian health ministry. Officials have not provided details on what the report’s estimates are based on and the study has not yet been made public.
President Hassan Rouhani shared the possibility of an additional 30-35 million Iranians being infected by the deadly virus in the coming months.
He did not clarify the basis of his estimate. Iran has a population of around 81 million people, and it has seen one of the worst outbreaks in the Middle East.
Iran’s Covid-19 cases exceed 270,000 confirmed cases and over 13,100 deaths.
Without the provision of details, the Iranian president’s remarks show that questions remain over the country’s Covid-19 official figures since the start of the outbreak.
This is despite authorities publicly acknowledging the importance of stating official figures.
Referring to the health ministry report, Rouhani said it also predicts that the number of hospitalizations will soon be "twice as many as we have seen in the last 150 days.”
In recent weeks, Iran has seen daily death tolls spike to their highest-ever levels, sparking increasing fear even as government officials say they can’t lock the country back down for fear of cratering its sanctions-hit economy.
Health officials have reported 2,166 new cases and 188 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Authorities in the capital Tehran are imposing new restrictions starting Saturday amid the increase in cases in recent weeks, closing some public spaces like coffee shops, zoos, and indoor swimming pools.