Iran virus death toll reaches 194 as cases soar - GulfToday

Iran virus death toll reaches 194 as cases soar


Workers in protective suits spray disinfectants near the gate of Shalamcha Border Crossing. Reuters

Iran says the new coronavirus has killed 49 more people in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 194 amid 6,566 confirmed cases in the Islamic Republic.


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That’s accord to Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour, who gave the figures at a news conference on Sunday.

There are over 6,900 confirmed cases of the new virus across the Mideast.

A man disinfects the shrine to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Shahr-e-Ray, south of Tehran, Iran. AP

Iran Air announced on Sunday the suspension of all its flights to Europe until further notice.

The national carrier said in a statement that the decision was taken due to "restrictions" imposed by European authorities for "unknown reasons".

Sweden blocked Iran Air flights from landing in the country in recent days, citing concerns over the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus in the Islamic republic.

Bahrain's Formula One race this month will be run without spectators over fears about the new coronavirus, the island kingdom announced Sunday, as Mideast stock markets fell sharply amid plummeting demand for crude oil and OPEC's inability to agree on a production cut.

A member of Iranian Border Guards wears a protective mask inside the Shalamcha Border Crossing on Sunday. Reuters

The decision by Bahrain is just the latest disruption felt by the Mideast over the virus and the COVID-19 illness it causes. The wider Mideast now has over 6,200 confirmed cases of the virus, the majority in hard-hit Iran.

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad's announcement was carried by the state-run Bahrain News Agency. The crown prince said the decision was "to preserve the safety of citizens, residents and racing fans.” The race is scheduled for March 22.

"As an F1 host nation, balancing the welfare of supporters and race goers is a tremendous responsibility," Bahrain International Circuit said in a statement. "Given the continued spread of COVID-19 globally, convening a major sporting event, which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travellers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time.”

Associated Press

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