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Ten new cases of coronavirus in Iran, two dead: officials

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 13:40 GMT+7
Ten new cases of coronavirus in Iran, two dead: officials
Iranian family wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, as they stand at Grand Bazaar in Tehran, Iran February 20, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Nazanin Tabatabaee via REUTERS

DUBAI -- Authorities in Iran on Saturday announced the detection of at least 10 new cases of coronavirus and two more deaths, deepening a sense of public unease over the handling of the spread of the disease.

The latest cases appeared to bring the number of cases in Iran to 29 and the number of deaths to six.

News of the latest cases and deaths came from Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur and the governor of Markazi province in central Iran, cited by state TV.

The Health Ministry earlier on Saturday noted a total number of 28 cases and five deaths and the governor announced a death in Markazi province later in the day.

Most of the cases, including eight of the new infections, have been in Qom, a Shi’ite Muslim holy city 120 km (75 miles) south of the capital Tehran.

Schools, universities and seminaries in Qom will be closed on Sunday and Monday in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, the government crisis management headquarters for Qom province announced on Saturday, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Health officials had called on Thursday for the suspension of all religious gatherings in Qom.

The cases in Iran have affected the neighboring region.

The United Arab Emirates announced two new coronavirus cases on Saturday, an Iranian tourist and his wife, the state news agency WAM reported, raising the total number of coronavirus cases in that country to 13.

Lebanon confirmed its first coronavirus case on Friday, a 45-year-old woman returning from Qom.

Iran has suspended religious pilgrimage trips to Iraq, an official who oversees pilgrimage trips said on Saturday, according to the Fars news agency.

Iraq announced on Thursday that it had banned border crossings by Iranian nationals, Iraq’s state news agency said.

The decision came after Iraqi Airways suspended flights to Iran. Kuwait Airways also suspended all flights to Iran starting on Thursday. Saudi Arabia said on Friday it had suspended travel by citizens and expatriates to Iran.

Kuwait Airways was operating special flights to evacuate more than 700 Kuwaitis from the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad on Saturday, it said in a post on its official Twitter account.

Reuters

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