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Iran’s coronavirus death toll rises to 43, with 593 people infected

Iranian people wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran February 29, 2020.WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Nazanin Tabatabaee via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has reached 43, a health official told state TV on Saturday, adding that the number of infected people across the country has reached 593.

“Unfortunately nine people died of the virus in the last 24 hours. The death toll is 43 now. The new confirmed infected cases since yesterday is 205 that makes the total number of confirmed infected people 593,” Kianush Jahanpur told state TV.

Iran, which has the highest death toll outside China, has ordered the shutting of schools until Tuesday and the government has extended the closure of universities and a ban on concerts and sports events for a week.

Several high-ranking officials, including a vice minister, deputy health minister and five lawmakers, have tested positive for the coronavirus as the rapid spread of the outbreak forced the government to call on people to stay at home.

Iranian media reported on Saturday that one lawmaker, elected in Iran’s Feb. 21 polls, had died of the coronavirus.

Iran’s government spokesman will hold his weekly news conference online due to the outbreak, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alexander Smith

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