"It will be very premature and I think unrealistic to think that we're going to finish with this virus by the end of the year," Ryan told journalists. "But I think what we can finish with, if we're smart, is the hospitalisations, the deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic."
Sima Sadat Lari, Health Ministry spokeswoman, told state TV that the total number of infected cases had reached 775,121, while total fatalities had increased to 41,979.
Since early in the pandemic it has been clear that men, particularly older men, are at a far higher risk of dying from the virus than women of a similar age, but scientists have not yet been able to pinpoint exactly why.
The closure plan in the Iranian capital came after Alireza Zali, head of the Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce, called for the shutdown to help control the epidemic.
After downplaying the coronavirus as recently as last week, Iranian authorities said Tuesday they had plans to potentially mobilize 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to confront the virus.
In addition to closing the Smart Gates, thermal screening and nasal swab is being carried out by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) airport medical centre team at Dubai International Airport on passengers arriving from the following countries: Thailand, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, and People ’s Republic of China-Beijing.
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.
The embassy noted that it coordinated with UAE national carriers Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways and Saudi national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines to operate flights for the next 72 hours according to the announced schedule. It commended in this regard the notable cooperation shown by officials of the national carriers in question.
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.