It's late tonight. Me and photographer Pernilla Edholm are at a ticket counter and are told that our trip with Turkish Airlines was booked off because Turkey closed the air traffic from Iran with just an hour's notice.

The congestion is great and the airline's employees sweat in their stiff host cap.

Now things are going fast. One by one, most of Iran's neighboring countries shut down air traffic in an attempt to protect themselves against the corona virus.

In the queue where we stand wear many face mask and rubber gloves. Those who have failed to buy any face mask have a mouthguard or a scarf for the face.

As recently as Tuesday - when we landed here in Tehran to report on the parliamentary elections - the authorities made it clear that there was not a single case of coronas in the country.

Many people doubt the statistics

Just a few days later, the virus had spread to most cities in the country and the greatest number of deaths from the disease occurred outside China.

How does this fit together? Many we meet say they doubt the official statistics

The same government officials who urged voters to go to the polling stations in Friday's election call during the weekend reporting on the corona center for propaganda, with the goal of getting people not to go and vote.

On television we see educational instructional films on how to wash your hands. Schools, universities and cinemas are closed and face masks sell out at pharmacies. When one of the largest metro stations in Tehran closes, rumors begin to emerge.

At the same time as Iran's health authority speaks of some twenty infected, hospital sources state that there are hundreds of cases.

What we do know is that most people are infected in the holy city of Qom. A place that pilgrims travel to. Almost everyone infected with Iran has got the virus there.

Got a foothold in the Middle East

It is when we wait at the airport all night in the hope of being able to travel to our hometown of Beirut that reality moves little.

If I haven't been worried before, I'll be there now. Despite the knowledge that the vast majority of those affected will have a mild variant of the disease, I record every coughing in the congestion.

The concern is compounded by the suspicion that the authorities may not say everything.

Finally we find a flight via Germany to our hometown of Beirut. It runs at six o'clock the next morning and must be paid in cash. We turn in and out of our wallets and fortunately we have so it is enough.

Late the following morning, as we stop in Hamburg, Iranian state media reports that 12 people have died after being infected by the new Corona virus. According to other semi-state sources, as many as 50 dead in the country are concerned.

We do not know what is true. But the new corona virus has taken hold in the Middle East and is now part of everyday life.