Iranians wearing protective masks walk under a prevention campaign poster for COVID-19 in Tehran. Atta Kenare/AFP
Friday prayers in Iran have been canceled across all provincial capitals amid the country's growing coronavirus outbreak, state television said. Iran says the new coronavirus has killed 92 people amid 2,922 confirmed cases across the Islamic Republic.
Friday is the main congregational day of prayer in Islam, and traditionally an important event for Iran's clerical rulers.
The report Wednesday comes as Tehran and other areas canceled Friday prayers last week over the outbreak.
Iran earlier announced that the new coronavirus has killed 92 people amid 2,922 confirmed cases across the Islamic Republic, the highest death toll in the world outside of China.
Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced the new figures at a news conference in Tehran, raising Iran's death toll from the new illness to higher than Italy's, where there has also been a serious spike in infections.
There are now over 3,140 cases of the new virus across the Mideast. Of those outside Iran in the region, most link back to the Islamic Republic.
The virus has sickened top leaders inside Iran's civilian government and Shiite theocracy. Iran stands alone in how the virus has affected its government, even compared to hard-hit China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 90,000 people and caused over 3,100 deaths.
Experts worry Iran may be underreporting the number of cases it has.
"The virus has no wings to fly,” Jahanpour said. "We are the ones who transfer it to each other.”
Tehran province had the highest number of new cases with 213. Isfahan in central Iran was second with 162, followed by East Azerbaijan in the northwest with 84.
A record surge of 55,079 new cases in the past 24 hours took India’s coronavirus caseload past 1.6 million, as the government decided to lift a nighttime curfew that has been in force since late March.
The outbreak has infected a host of senior officials, politicians, clerics and members of the elite Revolutionary Guards in Iran, the fourth worst-affected nation after China, South Korea and Italy.
Also, additional 2,321 people have recovered from the virus and three people passed away.
The ambulances entered Gaza at the Rafah crossing, which is otherwise closed for five days over the Eid Al Fitr holiday and the weekend and is due to reopen on Monday.
Israeli planes renewed air strikes in Gaza early on Saturday and Hamas militants in Gaza responded by firing rockets into Israel as their battle entered a fifth night.