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Iran reports 63 virus deaths as daily death rate drops

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An Iranian taxi driver sits inside a transparent partition to isolate himself from passengers at Aryashahr station, a transport hub in west Tehran on April 26, 2020, as cabs services have been among the hardest hit since the country’s coronavirus outbreak. – Usually, Tehran’s tens of thousands of taxi drivers have to battle maddening traffic but now the coronavirus is driving them around the bend. Since it first emerged in Iran in mid-February, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease has claimed 5,700 lives and infected 90,000, according to Iran’s government. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)

Iran on Friday announced 63 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, saying the rate of fatalities and infections were dropping while calling on the public to remain vigilant.

The deaths recorded in the past 24 hours brought to 6,091 the overall toll from the illness in the Middle East’s hardest-hit country.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 1,006 people tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

“We have seen drops in the numbers of infections and deaths in recent days,” Jahanpour said on state television.

“The process of managing the disease is continuing,” he added.

Jahanpour expressed hope that Iran would get close to “controlling” the outbreak with people observing health protocols.

The new infections brought to 95,646 the number recorded in the Islamic republic since it announced its first cases in mid-February.

More than 76,300 of those had already been released from hospital after recovering.

Of those still being treated, 2,899 were in critical condition.

Doubts have been cast over Iran’s coronavirus figures by experts and officials both at home and abroad.

Deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi said 116 of Iran’s 434 counties have been given the all-clear which might lead to the reopening of religious, cultural and sports centres, state news agency IRNA reported.

But the outbreak had worsened in some provinces, including Mazandaran on the Caspian Sea coast.

IRNA said the number of infections in the popular tourist spot had spiked in the past day after two weeks of downward trajectory.

Iran has shut schools, universities, cinemas and stadiums among other public spaces since March to contain the spread of the virus.

But it has allowed a phased reopening of its economy and lifted restrictions on intercity travel since April 11.

Mosques remain closed even as Muslims observe the fasting month of Ramadan.


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