A couple wears protective face mask, following the outbreak of coronavirus, at a supermarket in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday. Reuters
Iran says there are 66 dead amid 1,501 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the Islamic Republic.
That’s according to Iran Health Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Azizi, who gave the figure at a news conference Monday in Tehran.
Iran has the highest death toll from the virus outside of China, the epicenter of the outbreak.
Iranian officials are among those affected, with a member of Iran’s Expediency Council dying Monday.
Also on Sunday, Iran's state broadcaster said all flights to the city of Rasht, the capital of nothern Gilan province, had been suspended. It gave no reasons why. The area of Gilan has some of Iran's highest number of infections after the capital, Tehran, and the holy city of Qom, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the country.
The virus, which originated in central China, has infected at least seven government officials in Iran, including one of its vice presidents and a senior health ministry official.
A city in China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the global coronavirus epidemic, will pay residents as much as 10,000 yuan ($1,425.96) if they proactively report symptoms of the illness and it is confirmed after testing.
Qianjiang, a city of around one million people located about 150km from the stricken provincial capital of Wuhan, has reported a total of 197 cases so far and is stepping up efforts to ensure its infected people are confined and treated.
Anger has been building up against the authorities in China over their early handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 3,300 people globally, most of them in China. The Fujian provincial government said that as of Friday, the province had 296 cases of coronavirus and 10,819 people had been placed under observation after being classified as suspected close contacts.
India has also closed a border with neighbouring Myanmar to counter the coronavirus outbreak, as countries across South Asia reported a rise in cases on Wednesday. No cases have so far been confirmed in Myanmar.
Coronavirus concerns led Saudi Arabia to cut off air and sea travel with Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, South Korea, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. The kingdom had earlier closed off its land borders as well.
In renewed airstrikes on Thursday, Israel destroyed a six-storey residential building in the heart of Gaza City. One man was killed by an Israeli missile fired east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, medics said.
President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan called on citizens to strictly adhere to anti-virus protocols while celebrating Eid Al Fitr, stating that the measures were necessary to avoid a massive outbreak.
Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali was informed about the decision and he told the Muslim leaders that he would speak to the Director General of Police.