New coronavirus cases jump sharply in Iran and across Europe
Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 54, Health Ministry spokesman told state TV, adding that the number of people infected had reached 978.
“There were 385 new cases of infected people in the last 24 hours, increasing the total number to 978. The death toll is 54,” spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said, calling on Iranians to avoid any unnecessary trips and stay at home.
The spread of the virus in Iran, the epicentre of the outbreak in the Middle East, has prompted growing anxiety among Iranians and concern in some quarters over the clerical establishment’s response.
New coronavirus infections continued its rapid spread across Europe with Italy reporting hundreds of new cases and five more deaths. The number of confirmed cases also jumped in France, Germany and the UK.
Italy said confirmed infections had risen 40% in 24 hours to 1,576, with the death toll now at 34. In Germany the number of people infected had almost doubled to 129 on Sunday, while France’s total stood at 100 – up from 38 on Friday – nine of them in a serious condition.
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have allocated facilities across the country to help to eradicate the virus, a Guards commander told a televised news conference on Sunday.
“We have set up centers across the country to help people to tackle the virus … we need national cooperation to tackle this crisis. People should follow our health officials’ advice,” said the commander, who was not named by Iran’s Press TV.
The escalating figures came as the head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned individuals in higher-risk groups to avoid crowds and other places of elevated infection risk.
He tweeted: “If you are 60+, or have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing severe #COVID19. Try to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick.”