Iranians, some wearing protective masks, gather inside the capital Tehran. File/AFP
Iran on Sunday announced 129 new deaths caused by the novel coronavirus, raising to 1,685 the official death toll in one of the worst-hit countries along with Italy and China.
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Health ministry spokesman Kianouche Jahanpour said more than 1,028 new cases had been recorded in the past 24 hours and a total of 21,638 people had now tested positive for the virus.
"There were 1,028 new confirmed infected cases in the past 24 hours ... and 7,913 people have recovered," said Kianush Jahanpur.
Iran is the Middle Eastern country most affected by the coronavirus.
The Islamic republic is among the three countries hardest hit by the virus with an official death toll behind only Italy and China.
The authorities have asked people to avoid all travel during the Persian New Year holidays, which usually sees almost all citizens take to the roads.
But the pleas have been ignored by many.
"Reports by more than 56 laboratories indicated that we have had 1,178 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in the past 24 hours," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 966 more cases had been confirmed over the past 24 hours and 20,610 people were now known to have been infected in Iran.
The total number of people diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease caused by the new virus reached 80,868, as the country recorded 1,374 new cases in the past 24 hours, the spokesman said.
In moves to prevent panic over the coronavirus in Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, President Hassan Rouhani appealed to people not to spread rumours and the judiciary banned most officials from announcing numbers of those infected.
Caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir confirmed Elahi's arrest, saying he was in his vehicle and "trying to flee" when he was arrested.
Social media users reacted strongly to the video and the villagers' predicament with comments slamming the concerned authorities for reneging on their promise to provide good rural connectivity.
The marriage of Crown Prince Hussein, 28, and Saudi architect Rajwa Al Saif, 29, drew a star-studded guest list including Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, as well as US First Lady Jill Biden.
The authorities said that after the issuance of the visit visa, the tourist must enter the country within 60 days from the date of issuance, and the validity of the entry permit will be 30 days or 60 days, depending on the visa sought.