Iran Saturday dismissed as “rumours” a report that coronavirus has killed greater than 200 folks within the nation, one of many hardest hit by the illness, with senior officers amongst these contaminated.
Because it introduced its first coronavirus deaths, Iran has scrambled to convey the outbreak underneath management, shutting colleges, suspending cultural and sporting occasions and halting conferences of the cupboard and parliament.
The well being ministry on Saturday reported 9 new deaths and a 53 % bounce in infections over the earlier 24 hours taking the general totals to 43 deaths and 593 instances.
It was the best variety of new instances for a single day since Iran introduced its first two deaths in Qom, a centre for Islamic research and pilgrims from overseas, on February 19.
Citing unnamed sources in Iran’s well being system, the BBC’s Persian-language service stated on Friday that at the least 210 folks had died within the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many of the lifeless have been in Qom or within the capital Tehran, the London-based broadcaster stated.
Well being ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour accused international media of spreading misinformation in regards to the outbreak as he introduced the brand new figures on Saturday.
“Given the rumours and false and contradictory content that may be published from satellite networks or media which are not well-intentioned towards Iranian people, I must say that what we publish as definitive statistics is based on the latest definitive findings of laboratory tests,” he informed a televised information convention.
On Friday, he accused BBC Persian of becoming a member of Iran’s regional enemies in a “race to spread lies”.
“Iran’s exemplary transparency in publishing information on the coronavirus has stunned many people,” Jahanpour tweeted.
The worry over the fast unfold of the virus is palpable on the streets of Tehran, which have been much less crowded than standard with folks apparently staying at house.
Visitors was flowing extra freely than regular within the capital on Saturday morning, when it often chokes the streets initially of the working week.
The workplace of Tehran’s governor introduced a discount in working hours in a bid to scale back the possibilities of the virus spreading, state tv reported.
Retailers and pharmacies have been struggling to satisfy demand as folks have been stocking up on bleach, disinfectant wipes, face masks and different sanitary merchandise, in addition to non-perishable meals.
Giant posters have gone up on promoting billboards within the capital urging folks to observe hygiene tips comparable to washing palms and never touching handrails and different objects in public locations.
In Bandar Abbas, on Iran’s Gulf coast, residents reportedly set alight a clinic rumoured to be treating folks contaminated with coronavirus on Friday evening.
“The unsubstantiated rumour that several coronavirus patients were being held at the clinic… provoked some residents to set fire to it,” Fars information company stated, including the power denied it had any such sufferers.
Police and firefighters arrived and calm was restored earlier than the blaze was extinguished, Fars reported.
Iran’s coronavirus demise toll is the best for any nation apart from China — the place COVID-19 first emerged.
Certainly one of Iran’s seven vice presidents, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and Deputy Well being Minister Iraj Harirchi are amongst a number of senior officers who’ve been contaminated.
Jahanpour stated on Saturday that 205 instances had been detected within the earlier 24 hours, growing the entire of confirmed infections to 593.
Among the many newest infections, 22 have been in Golestan, a brand new outbreak within the northeastern province on the Caspian Beach.
A lot of Iran’s neighbours have reported coronavirus infections in folks linked to Iran, and most have imposed restrictions on journey to and from the Islamic republic.
On Wednesday, Iranian authorities introduced home journey restrictions for folks with confirmed or suspected infections.
America and Paris-based media watchdog Reporters With out Borders have accused Iran of concealing details about the outbreak, which has claimed an unusually excessive proportion of the lives of these contaminated within the Islamic republic.