Tehran: The number of declared coronavirus infections in Iran topped 40,000 Monday, as the government warned the outbreak could run for several more months and cost over 10,000 lives.
With the tally climbing, President Hassan Rouhani stood accused of failing to take prompt action by some of his political opponents.
The row came as a report by Iran’s anti-coronavirus committee said the country may struggle with the outbreak until at least early summer.
Parviz Karami, who published the study on Instagram, said 11,000 people would die in case of “medium government intervention”, including measures already taken by Iran.
Potential fatalities could drop to 7,700 with “maximum” intervention, such as banning movement inside cities and imposing quarantines, he said.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said Monday another 117 people had died from the virus over the past 24 hours and 3,186 new cases had been confirmed, raising the total to more than 41,000.
The death toll had reached 2,757.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Monday announced 154 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed patients to 1453 in the country, according the Ministry of Health.
This came as the Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah announced today all coronavirus patients in Saudi Arabia, including expats, visitors and violators of the residence system, will be treated for free.
The minister said the move follows the directives of King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, adding that Saudi Arabia is among the top 10 countries in conducting diagnostic tests.
Oman cases rises
Oman announced 12 new cases of coronavirus today, taking the total number of cases registered in the Sultanate to 179.
The Health Ministry also confirmed that 29 people have recovered.
Meanwhile, Oman has taken delivery of medical equipment and substances from China to boost the Sultanate’s efforts to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. A total of 167 coronavirus infection cases have been reported in Oman.
The medical supplies were flown from China aboard a Royal Air Force of Oman plane, Oman’s news agency said.