Iran cancels Friday congregations amid coronavirus fears

Tehran- Iran called off Friday congregations over coronavirus fears as the death toll mounted to 26, with 245 confirmed cases, that is the highest rate of cases reported outside the epicenter of coronavirus in China. Several people are affected including government officials.
The epidemic insisted officials cancel the Friday prayer congregations in some cities including Tehran, as reported by the state TV. On the other hand, the state news agency reported that Iran has barred Chinese nationals from entering the region.
The virus has affected hundreds of people including deputy health minister Iraj Harichi and the vice president for women and family affairs Masoum Ebtekar; though Ebtekar is not admitted to hospital as her illness is mild.
“In the last 24 hours, we have had 106 (new) confirmed cases … The death toll has reached 26,” Kianush Jahanpur, the health ministry spokesman told the news agency while appealing the citizens to avoid “unnecessary trips inside the country”.
Jahanpur announced that the imposition of restrictions on some holy sites is under consideration while Friday sermons have been called off. “But it needs the approval of the president before being carried out”, he held.
According to state TV, the foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi announced that several 20,000 coronavirus test kits and other protective material have been sent to Iran saying “A Mahan Airplane will transfer this cargo, which has been prepared by China’s Red Crescent, to Iran”.
In Iran, the death rate for confirmed cases is much higher as compared to other countries. The WHO remarked that there might be some issue with the surveillance system of the country as it is not detecting mild cases.
Despite the sharp rise in coronavirus cases, officials including President Hassan Rohani said there is no plan to isolate any “cities and districts”.
Last week, Iranians officially announced infections and deaths from the COVID-19. Jahanpur said the closure of cinemas and a tentative ban on cultural festivities would be extended for one more week.–Worldwide News

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