Disturbing video has emerged of body bags strewn on the floors of a hospital in an Iranian city where the coronavirus was first detected in the hard-hit Islamic Republic — and the man who filmed it has been arrested, according to a report.
The footage, which was apparently shot by a hospital worker in the holy city of Qom, has been viewed more than 920,000 times after being shared in social media by journalist Mohamad Ahwaze, according to the UK’s Metro.
“One of the medical personnel documents the death of dozens of people infected with the coronavirus in the city of Qom only, and says many deaths, and there is no place for funerals,” Ahwaze said in a tweet.
“While the Iranian government covers up the scale of the disaster and says there is nothing to worry about!” he added.
Qom’s deputy prosecutor announced that the man who captured the footage had been arrested.
“Anyone who publishes fake or unauthorized news or images about coronavirus and disturbs the mental security of the community is guilty [of a crime] and will be dealt with decisively,” a judge said, according to Metro.
The death toll from the coronavirus in Iran, which has one of the highest numbers outside China, stood at 107, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said Thursday, according to Reuters.
The total number of confirmed cases was 3,513, up by 591 from a day earlier.
Insiders have disputed the announced death toll, saying the number of fatalities could be far higher, according to Metro.
The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, which calls for the overthrow of the country’s leadership, claims the death toll is at least 1,200 and accuses the Islamic Republic’s mullahs of “keeping the lid on the truth,” the news outlet reported.