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Qatari police stand outside a hotel in Doha as a medical worker walks alongside people wearing protective masks over fears of coronavirus on March 12. Most of Qatar's 337 infections can be traced back to Iran. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Qatar said Sunday it was sending medical aid to its ally Iran, which has been hit very hard by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Iranian authorities have reported 611 deaths due to the virus and nearly 13,000 infections, making the country an epicentre of the Covid-19 outside China where it first broke out in December.

Experts, however, believe that the numbers of fatalities and infections in Iran are far higher than those officially announced.

Qatar’s official news agency said that a first consignment of the urgent aid was being dispatched to Iran including six tonnes of medical equipment and supplies.

The aid dispatch comes upon directives from Qatar’s Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the agency added.

Qatar itself has recorded a total of 337 virus cases, many of them linked to travel to Iran.