Tehran: Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 724, with 113 new deaths in the past 24 hours, an Iranian health official tweeted on Sunday, adding that some 13,938 people have been infected across the country.
"In the past 24 hours, 1,209 new cases have been confirmed ... with 113 deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll has reached 724," Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran's health minister, tweeted. The virus also forced the closure of a key Shiite tomb in Mashhad.
People “should cancel all travel and stay at home so that we may see the situation improving in the coming days,” ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference. “The good news is that more than 4,590 of the overall confirmed cases have recovered” and the patients have been discharged from hospitals, he added. Tehran province had the highest number of new infections with 251 fresh cases.
Khorasan Razavi province, home to the holy Shiite city of Mashhad, followed with 143 cases. “The cases there will probably increase,” the official said, calling on everyone to cease from travelling to the northeastern province. Mashhad’s Imam Reza shrine receives many devout Iranians every year, especially around the country’s New Year holidays which start on March 20.
The outbreak in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated. Jahanpour called on Iranians to “take the coronavirus seriously” and especially be mindful of elderly relatives who are most vulnerable to the infection