Iran says 34 dead, 388 infected with coronavirus

01 Mars, 2020, 00:40 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Iran says 34 dead, 388 infected with coronavirus

Iran on Wednesday reported four more novel coronavirus deaths among 44 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to 19 and infections to 139. In 2018, the United States exited Tehran's nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions.

In Asia, China has reported 77-thousand-660 confirmed cases and two-thousand-663 deaths. It came as Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour urged Iranians to avoid "nonessential travel", particularly to the hard-hit provinces of the country such as Gilan and Qom.

Iran last week announced its first two deaths from the coronavirus in Qom, a centre for Islamic studies and pilgrims from overseas.

It has closed schools, universities, cultural centres, sporting events and deployed teams of sanitary workers to disinfect buses, trains and public spaces.

But in Gilan, "things are slightly concerning", he added, as it has had the second highest number of new cases, including people who had made trips to other provinces.

The head of the Medical Science University in the holy city of Qom, Mohammad Reza Ghadir, expressed concern over "the spread of those people infected by the virus across the city", adding the Health Ministry had banned releasing figures linked to the coronavirus.

'We still do not agree with quarantining cities since we believe the people are cultured enough to refrain from travelling from infected cities to other places, ' semi-official news agency ISNA quoted him as saying.

"Yes, my corona test is positive, too and I am in quarantine", Mojtaba Zonnouri said in the video.

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"I wanted to tell you that. we will definitely be victorious against this virus in the next few weeks", Mr Harirchi declared.

The ministry "affirmed that the required legal proceedings would be taken against anyone who returned from Iran in February and didn't call to make appointments for the tests", the Interior Ministry said.

Iran said on Monday 900 cases were suspected, dismissing claims by a lawmaker from Qom who said 50 people had died in the city, the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The global death toll is almost 2,800, and China, where the outbreak originated, is the worst hit, with more than 78,000 cases and over 2,700 fatalities.

'We have already seen spread from Iran to neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Afghanistan and this is likely to continue.

Jahanpour denied reports by the BBC's Farsi service putting the death toll over four times as high, saying foreign media outlets had "political" biases and no access to Iran's laboratories.

The plane was actually shot down by Iranian Revolutionary Guards at the height of Tehran's stand-off with Washington after the death of Qassem Soleimani.

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