Iran's coronavirus deaths rise to 1,566, total infections exceed 20,000: health ministry

Published: March 21, 2020
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, praising doctors and nurses for their courage in fighting against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran March 20, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, praising doctors and nurses for their courage in fighting against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran March 20, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

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.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease stood at 20,610 on Saturday, health ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said on state TV.

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President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that social distancing measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, including travel restrictions, will apply for only two to three weeks, expecting the crisis to ease by then.

Iran “has to do everything necessary to return economic production to normal,” he said in comments broadcast on state TV. He also accused “counter-revolutionaries” of plotting to shut down economic production.

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