Iran's coronavirus deaths rise to 1,566; total infections exceeds 20,000

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2020 07:49 PM

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as they disinfect the streets, ahead of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, March 20, in Tehran, Iran March 18, 2020. Picture taken March 18, 2020. Ali Khara, West Asia News Agency via Reuters

DUBAI - Iran's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on Saturday by more than 100 to 1,556, and the total number of people infected now exceeds 20,000, a health ministry official said.

Iran, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic outside of China, reported on Friday a death toll of 1,433 and a total number of confirmed infections of 19,644.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease stood at 20,610 on Saturday, health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on state TV.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that social distancing measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, including travel restrictions, will apply for only two to three weeks, expecting the crisis to ease by then.

Iran "has to do everything necessary to return economic production to normal," he said in comments broadcast on state TV. He also accused "counter-revolutionaries" of plotting to shut down economic production.