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AFP
March 31, 2020

Iran virus deaths reach 2,757, infections cross 40,000

World

AFP
March 31, 2020

TEHRAN: Iran´s official coronavirus death toll reached 2,757 on Monday and the number of infections crossed 40,000, as President Hassan Rouhani´s political opponents slammed his response to the outbreak.

The Islamic republic is one of the countries worst hit by the virus, which originated in China. Iran has been scrambling to contain COVID-19´s spread since it reported its first cases on February 19. After weeks of refraining from imposing lockdown or quarantine measures, Tehran decided Wednesday to ban all intercity travel until at least April 8, but some in the establishment have argued it is too little, too late.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said at a daily news briefing that 117 more people had died from the virus over the past 24 hours and 3,186 new cases had been confirmed. According to Jahanpour, 13,911 of those hospitalised because of the virus have recovered, while 3,511 are in a critical condition.

There is no official lockdown in Iran´s cities although the government has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay home to contain the spread of the virus. "Coronavirus could have been more quickly contained, if the health ministry´s expert opinion regarding implementing social distancing and social limitations was considered sooner."