Iran virus deaths rise to 19, deputy minister among infected

TEHRAN (HRNW) – Iran said Tuesday its coronavirus outbreak, the deadliest outside China, had claimed 19 lives and infected nearly 100 others — including the country s deputy health minister.

The Islamic republic s neighbours have imposed travel restrictions and strict quarantine measures after reporting their first cases in recent days, mostly in people with links to Iran.

The United Arab Emirates was the latest to clamp down on Tuesday, halting all passenger and cargo flights to and from Iran, a similar move to other nearby countries including Armenia, Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey.

Iran has been scrambling to contain COVID-19 since Wednesday last week when it announced the first two deaths in Qom, a centre for Islamic studies and pilgrims that attracts scholars from abroad.

The country s deputy health minister put on a brave face as he admitted he too was infected.

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