Coronavirus pandemic: Death toll soars to 1,566 in Iran; total infections exceed 20,000

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Mar 21, 2020, 04:00 PM(IST)

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease as they disinfect the streets in Tehran, Iran. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Iran 'has to do everything necessary to return economic production to normal,' Rouhani said. 

The death toll due to coronavirus rose to 1,556 in Iran after health ministry confirmed 123 deaths on Saturday. 

Over the past 24 hours, 966 more cases have been confirmed Iran with this 20,610 people are now known to have been infected in Iran, health ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said.

Also read: Iran has temporarily freed 85,000 prisoners, including political ones, amid coronavirus

Meanwhile, earlier in the day Iran President addressed the nations through television during which he assures his country that social distancing measures including travel restrictions to combat the rapidly spreading virus will apply for only two to three weeks as he expects the crisis to ease by then.

Iran "has to do everything necessary to return economic production to normal," Rouhani said. 

Also read: Iran  - 50 new cases of coronavirus detected every hour, 1 death every 10 minutes

After Italy and China, Iran is one of the worst-affected countries from coronavirus pandemic which first originated in Chinese city Wuhan. The virus has now spread to over 150 countries killing more than 11,000 people worldwide.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Jahanpour said that "50 new cases of infection are detected every hour and one death recorded every 10 minutes."

Earlier, Iran freed about 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

On March 10, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said he had asked Tehran to free all political prisoners temporarily from its overcrowded and disease-ridden jails to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

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