Iran’s coronavirus deaths rise to 1,566, health ministry says

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DUBAI: Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on Saturday by more than 100 to 1,556, and the total number of people infected now exceeds 20,000, a health ministry official said.

On Friday, Iran’s death toll stood at 1,433 and the total number of confirmed infections was 19,644. A total of 7,635 people have recovered from the disease, he told a televised news conference. The Islamic republic is among the three countries hardest hit by the virus with an official death toll behind only Italy and China.

The authorities have asked people to avoid all travel during the Persian New Year holidays, which usually sees almost all citizens take to the roads. But the pleas have been ignored by many.

According to the Iranian Red Crescent, around three million people have left the 13 most virus-affected provinces by road since March 17. Jahanpour said there was “a minority who did not follow the guidelines”, warning that provinces popular with tourists would not welcome visitors for the Nowruz holiday. Some provinces have ordered hotels and other accommodation to close.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani pledged Friday that the country would triumph over the virus.

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