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UPDATE 1-Iran's death toll from coronavirus reaches 26 - health ministry

Thu, 27th Feb 2020 11:21

(Adds detail)

DUBAI, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Iran said on Thursday its death
toll from coronavirus had risen to 26 and the total number of
infected people now stood at 245, the highest number of deaths
from the virus outside China.

"In the last 24 hours, we have had 106 (new) confirmed cases
... The death toll has reached 26," Health Ministry spokesman
Kianush Jahanpur told state TV, calling on Iranians to avoid
"unnecessary trips inside the country".

Jahanpur said there were plans to impose some restrictions
at holy Shi’ite Muslim sites and cancel some sermons on Friday,
the Islamic Republic’s traditional day of public prayer.

"But it needs the approval of the president before being
carried out," he said, adding that hundreds of those suspect of
being infected by the virus had recovered and been discharged
from hospital.

Authorities, including President Hassan Rouhani, said on
Wednesday that Iran had no plans to quarantine any "cities and
districts" despite the sharp rise in numbers in a short time.

Officials announced Iran’s first deaths and infections from
the coronavirus as recently as last week.

However, Jahanpur said the government had extended its
closure of cinemas and temporary ban on cultural events and
conferences for one more week.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi
Editing by Gareth Jones, William Maclean)

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