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Tehran: Iran says the new coronavirus has killed 54 more people, raising the death toll to 291 amid 8,042 cases in the Islamic Republic.

That's according to Kianoush Jahanpour, a Health Ministry spokesman, who spoke in a live, televised news conference on Tuesday.

It represented an 18 per cent increase in deaths from the day before and 12 per cent more confirmed cases.

Iran is the hardest-hit country in the Mideast by the new coronavirus, which sickens but largely doesn't kill those afflicted. Across the region, there are over 8,600 confirmed cases of the virus.