Coronavirus claims seven lives in Iran

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TEHRAN: The death toll due to the coronavirus epidemic in Iran has jumped to seven, while more than 28 persons are said to be infected.

The first case was reported on the eve of the Islamic Republic’s general elections, which were held on Friday. Results are due to be announced later on Sunday.

China, where the virus originated, has so far reported a total of 76,936 cases of the disease caused by the virus, known as Covid-19, including 2,442 deaths.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki said the virus reached the country through an Iranian merchant from the holy city of Qom who used to travel to China regularly.

“Flights were suspended between the two countries, but he used indirect flights,” Namaki said on Sunday, urging people not to travel to Qom, a pilgrimage destination 120km south of the capital Tehran.

The outbreak has prompted authorities to shut down schools and religious seminaries in the city indefinitely, while Tehran and a number of other cities have suspended schools until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan, Turkey, and Iraq have closed their borders with Iran as a precautionary measure to halt the potential spread of coronavirus.

Pakistan has imposed emergency in the areas near to the Iranian border.

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