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Iran reports 54 new coronavirus deaths, highest one-day toll

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An Iranian medic treats a patient infected with the COVID-19 virus at a hospital in Tehran on March 1, 2020. – A plane carrying UN medical experts and aid touched down on March 2, 2020, in Iran on a mission to help it tackle the world’s second-deadliest outbreak of coronavirus as European powers said they would send further help. (Photo by KOOSHA MAHSHID FALAHI / MIZAN NEWS AGENCY / AFP) / 

Iran on Tuesday reported 54 new deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the start of the outbreak in the country.

The latest deaths bring the number of those killed by the virus in the Islamic republic to 291, the health ministry’s spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised conference.

He added that 881 new cases had been confirmed, bringing the total infection tally to 8,042.

But “2,731 people, which is about 10 times the number of dear countrymen we’ve lost, have recovered and been discharged from hospitals,” Jahanpour said.

The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outsides of China, where the disease originated.

With 2,114 cases, the capital Tehran remains the worst-hit province.

The northern province of Mazandaran climbed to second place with 253 new cases to a total of 886, followed by 751 in Qom, the Shiite pilgrimage city south of Tehran where the country’s first cases were reported.

The former is a popular tourist spot bordering the Caspian Sea, especially during holidays for the Iranian New Year on March 20.

Iran is yet to officially impose quarantines but authorities have repeatedly called on people to refrain from travelling and have resorted to closing hotels and other accommodations to discourage travel.


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