Tehran: Iranian state TV says the death toll in the country from the new coronavirus has risen to 12, after four more people died.
The TV quoted lawmaker Asadollah Abbasi as saying on Monday that the total number of confirmed cases stands at 47, including the deaths. Abbasi says the latest figures came from Health Minister Saeed Namaki at a closed session of the parliament.
The report comes after the health ministry on Sunday raised the death toll from the new virus that first emerged in China in December to eight, amid concerns that clusters there as well as in Italy and South Korea could signal a serious new stage in its global spread.
The outbreak in Iran has centered mostly on the city of Qom, but spread rapidly over the past few days to people in four other cities, including the capital, Tehran. Iranians also went to the polls on Friday for nationwide parliamentary elections, with many voters wearing masks and stocking up on hand sanitizer.
Abbasi said people who illegally travelled to Iran from Pakistan, Afghanistan and China were the ``source’’ of the infection.
Travelers infected with the virus from Iran have been confirmed in Canada, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain. Countries bordering Iran have taken preventive measures to limit the spread of the virus from Iranian travelers, with some barring Iranians from entry.