Iran reports 54 new coronavirus deaths, highest one-day toll


  • AseanPlus News
  • Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020

Iranian pedestrians walking by a shopping area in Teheran on (March 10). Iran today reported 54 new deaths from the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the start of the country's health issues with the virus. - AFP

TEHERAN: Iran on Tuesday (March 10) reported 54 new deaths from the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the start of the country's outbreak.

The latest deaths bring the number of those killed by the virus in the Islamic republic to 291, the health ministry's spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised conference.

He added that 881 new cases had been confirmed, bringing the total number of people infected to an official 8,042.

But "2,731 people, which is about 10 times the number of dear countrymen we've lost, have recovered and been discharged from hospitals," Jahanpour said.

The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside China, where the disease originated.

With 2,114 cases, the capital Tehran remains the worst-hit province.

The northern province of Mazandaran climbed to second place with 253 new cases, bringing the total there to 886, followed by 751 in Qom, the Shiite pilgrimage city south of Tehran where the country's first cases were reported.

Mazandaran is a popular tourist spot bordering the Caspian Sea, and is particularly popular during holidays for the Iranian New Year, which this year starts on March 20.

Iran is yet to officially impose quarantines but authorities have repeatedly called on people to refrain from travelling and have resorted to closing hotels and other accommodation to discourage travel.

"As we said and expected in recent days, Mazandaran has almost reached the top of the chart" in terms of infections and is second only to Tehran, Jahanpour said.

"Our warnings against travelling to Mazandaran may be more understandable today," he added.

Iran's fatalities include several politicians and government officials, as well as some hospital staff.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei agreed on Tuesday to designate hospital staff who died after contracting the virus as "martyrs", following a suggestion by the health minister, according to the official IRNA news agency.

In the Islamic republic, the families of those designated martyrs usually receive financial aid and other benefits from the state.

The supreme leader also cancelled his annual speech in Mashhad city to mark the Persian new year due to concerns about the virus outbreak and health authorities' calls "to avoid gatherings and travel".

According to health ministry figures, 222 people have been infected by the virus in the Khorasan Razavi province, where Mashhad is located.

Apart from direct fatalities, 44 people have died from methanol poisoning in Iran after rumours that drinking alcohol could help cure or protect from the disease. - AFP
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