Iran: 97 new coronavirus deaths, toll over 611

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Mar 14, 2020, 11:09 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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With the new cases, the total number of infected cases spiked to 12,729 in the country

Iran on Saturday confirmed 97 more deaths from novel coronavirus, raising the country's death toll to 611. 

"1,365 fresh cases have been added to the number of confirmed infections in the past 24 hours", the health ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said. 

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With the new cases, the total number of infected cases spiked to 12,729. 

In a news conference, Jahanpour said over 4,300 people who had earlier tested positive have recovered. 

Also read: Iran asks IMF for loan to combat virus as infections pass 10,000

Tehran province had the most number of cases: 347, followed by Isfahan and Alborz with 155 and 134 infections. 

He also said that the number of confirmed cases will rise even more as the country steps up its laboratory sampling and tests. 

The health ministry also said that the average age of those who lost their lives was 37. The youngest fatality was a three-year-old and the oldest 91. 

Despite the calls for people to stay at home, a large number of people were present in Tehran's markets to shop ahead of the Islamic Republic's New Year holidays which will start on March 20. 

Iran has witnessed most coronavirus deaths after mainland China, where the outbreak began.  

However, in some of Iran's provinces, alcohol poisoning is taking more lives than the COVID-19. 

At least 92 people have died from drinking methanol after rumours spread that it can help to cure or protect from the virus, and the number is rising for the past few days. 

Many politicians and officials have tested positive with the coronavirus and some of them even died. 

One of the most high profile cases was of Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on foreign policy.

On Friday, Iran's official coronavirus committee also held a meeting chaired by President Hassan Rouhani.  

Iran on Thursday sought immediate financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it fight the outbreak. 

(With AFP inputs)

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