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Iran reports 113 new virus deaths as containment concerns mount


The official leading Iran's response to the new coronavirus acknowledged on Sunday the pandemic could overwhelm health facilities in his country, which is battling the worst outbreak within the Middle East while under heavy US sanctions.

Iran's health ministry reported another 113 deaths, bringing the country's total toll to 724 with nearly 14,000 confirmed cases. it absolutely was the largest single-day jump in fatalities since the virus was first reported within the country.


Iran's outbreak has caused growing alarm with concerns about the government's transparency in reporting the extent of the epidemic and its ability to contain it.

"If the trend continues, there'll not be enough capacity," Ali Reza Zali, who is leading the campaign against the outbreak, was quoted as saying by the state-run IRNA news organization.

Iran is believed to own about 110,000 hospital beds, including 30,000 within the capital, Tehran. Authorities have pledged to line up mobile clinics pro re nata.

Zali also acknowledged "many" of these who have died from the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus were otherwise healthy, a rare admission by local authorities that the virus doesn't only feed on the sick and elderly.

Health ministry figures show while 55 percent of fatalities were in their 60s, some 15 percent were younger than 40.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, like fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and folks with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. most of the people recover during a matter of weeks.

The virus has infected over 150,000 people worldwide and killed over 5,800. over 70,000 people worldwide have recovered after being infected.

In Iran, the virus has infected variety of senior officials, including cabinet ministers, members of parliament, Revolutionary Guard members and health ministry officials.

Senior vice chairman Eshaq Jahangiri returned to figure on Sunday after testing negative, the presidency's website said. He was absent from official meetings last week, and therefore the semi-official Fars news organization reported he contracted the virus.

Authorities have nevertheless been slow to adopt measures taken by other hard-hit countries. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday ruled out a general quarantine and said the govt. was working to stay the borders open.

Dalia Samhouri, a senior regional official with the planet Health Organization, said both Iran and Egypt, two of the foremost populous countries within the Middle East, were likely underreporting cases due to the character of the virus, which might be spread by individuals who show no visible symptoms. Egypt has reported 110 cases, including two fatalities.

"We can easily say that this figures are a real understatement of the particular figures," she said.

Humanitarian aid
Iran has struggled to reply partially due to crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration after the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. The US says it's offered humanitarian aid but Iran has rejected it.



Countries across the center East have imposed sweeping travel restrictions, cancelled public events and called on non-essential businesses to shut for the approaching weeks.

Qatar will bar entry to arriving air passengers except citizens from Wednesday for a minimum of period of time, the govt. said because it announced a $23bn economic stimulus in response to the new coronavirus.

The country is that the worst affected within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with 401 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday. it's not reported any fatalities but has closed universities, schools, gyms and cinemas yet as cancelling many public events including the MotoGP.

In the skyscraper-studded city of Dubai, a worldwide business and travel hub within the United Arab Emirates (UAE), authorities announced on Sunday all movie theatres, arcades and gymnasiums would be closed through the tip of the month.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, also clean up its amusement parks and museums through the tip of the month, including Louvre United Arab Emirates's capital.

In Lebanon, police used loudspeakers to order people to evacuate the city's famous Mediterranean boardwalk. the tiny country, which has reported 99 cases and three deaths, has already closed all restaurants and nightclubs, halted flights from several countries, and tightened border controls. President Michel Aoun urged people to remain home.

Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque is that the latest during a series of spiritual sites where access has been halted or strictly limited. Saudi Arabia has suspended the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and will be forced to limit or cancel the much larger Hajj later this year.

On Sunday, it announced the temporary closure of all mosques and called off Friday prayers.

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