Tehran: Iran on Thursday reported 15 new deaths from the novel coronavirus and 591 fresh cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the toll to 107 dead and 3,513 infected.
"Until today, samples have been taken of 23,327 suspected cases, only 3,513 of which have been confirmed," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a televised news conference.
"Unfortunately 15 people have passed away, raising the total number of the dead to 107," he added, noting that the provinces of Tehran, Qom, Gilan and Esfahan are the worst hit.
Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour made the announcement Thursday at a televised news conference.
Schools and universities in Iran will be closed until early April because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the health minister said Thursday.
"People should not consider this as an opportunity to go travelling. They should stay home and take our warnings seriously," Saeed Namaki said at a televised press conference.
Iran's health minister on Thursday encouraged the public to reduce its use of paper money as it is aiding the spread of the new coronavirus, and said authorities will begin manning checkpoints to limit travel between major cities in the Islamic Republic.
Saeed Namaki made the announcement at a televised news conference. He added that schools and universities will remain closed through Nowruz, the Persian New Year, on March 20.
He said people should stay in their vehicles at gas stations and allow attendants to fill their gas tanks to avoid the spread of the virus.
There are now over 3,150 cases of the virus across the Mideast. Of those outside Iran in the region, most link back to the Islamic Republic. There, authorities say the virus has killed at least 92 people amid 2,922 confirmed cases. Iran and Italy have the world's highest death tolls outside of China.
Earlier Thursday, the United Arab Emirates warned its citizens and its foreign residents not to travel anywhere abroad amid the ongoing worldwide coronavirus outbreak, a stark warning for a country home to two major long-haul airlines.
The country's Health and Community Protection Ministry warning comes as UAE sent 215 foreigners it evacuated from hard-hit Hubei in China to a quarantine set up in its Emirates Humanitarian City. They include citizens of Egypt, Sudan and Yemen.
Health officials warned that those traveling abroad could face quarantine themselves at the discretion of authorities.