Iran coronavirus toll rises to 2,077 after 143 new deaths

By AFP
Published: March 25, 2020
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

TEHRAN: An Iranian health ministry official said on Wednesday that 2,077 people had died so far from the new coronavirus in Iran, with 143 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, in one of the world’s worst-hit countries.

The total number of people infected with the coronavirus has climbed to 27,017, Alireza Vahabzadeh tweeted.

Iran has the fourth-highest official death toll from the coronavirus after Italy, China and Spain but, unlike those countries, it has yet to impose any lockdown on its citizens.

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On the contrary, the country is in the midst of the two-week Persian New Year holiday when the country’s roads fill with people visiting family.

Despite the authorities’ appeals for people to stay home and the closure of shopping and leisure centres, many people have taken to the roads, as usual, this year.

Jahanpour announced that when government offices reopen on Tuesday, many civil servants will be working from home.

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“Only around a third of government staff are authorised to work in the office and only for administrative tasks vital to the public,” he said, adding that all offices would practise “social distancing”.

On Sunday, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iranians to follow state instructions “so that Almighty God will put an end to this calamity for the Iranian people, for all Muslim nations and for all mankind”.

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