Coronavirus cases in Iran cross 53000

Tehran: Iran on Friday announced 134 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the officially confirmed total to 3,294.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference that 2,715 new infections had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 53,183. 

Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and has been struggling to contain the outbreak since it reported its first deaths on February 19.

Jahanpour said 17,935 of those hospitalised with the virus had recovered, while 4,035 were in a critical condition.

All intercity travel banned

The government has banned all intercity travel until at least April 8, and has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay at home. There is no official lockdown inside Iran’s cities.

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President Hassan Rouhani warned on Thursday that there was no quick fix and that Iran might have to battle the pandemic for another year.

Authorities close schools, universities

Authorities have closed schools and universities as well as four key Shiite pilgrimage destinations, including the Fatima Masumeh shrine in Qom, the city where the first deaths were reported.

They have also cancelled the main weekly Friday prayers and temporarily closed parliament.

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