Iran reports 75 new deaths from virus; toll rises to 429
12 Mar 2020
Paramedics test samples taken from patients with the new coronavirus, at a laboratory in Ahvaz, Iran. AP
Iran on Thursday reported 75 new deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said, bringing the death toll to 429 in the worst-hit country in the Middle East.
"We have identified 1,075 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, meaning that there are 10,075 infected people in the country. The death toll is 429," Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state television.
An Iranian woman wears a protective face mask, following the coronavirus outbreak, as she walks in Tehran. Reuters
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.
At least seven officials and politicians have died since Feb. 19, when Iran announced first infections and two deaths from the virus.
Iranian fire fighters and municipality workers disinfect a street in Tehran for COVID-19 on Thursday. AFP
Iran's clerical rulers have been struggling to contain the spread of the virus, despite the closure of schools and universities and the suspension of religious, cultural and sports events across the country.
Iranian officials have repeatedly urged people to avoid unnecessary trips and stay at home.
Iranian pedestrians walk while wearing protective masks in Tehran amid the spread of coronavirus in the country. AFP
"Stay at home. Don't go shopping. You are making our job more difficult by ignoring the advice," Health Minister Saeed Namaki told Iranians on a live programme.