Iran’s coronavirus death toll soars to 2,234 – 157 more people dead in just 24 hours

In the last 24 hours, 157 people have died after contracting COVID-19. This brings the total number of deaths in the country to 2,234. Health ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour has also confirmed a significant rise in those reported to have contracted the deadly disease. 

In just one day, 2,389 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. 

This brings the total number of cases in the country to 29,406.

Iran is one of the most affected countries outside of China, and has struggled to fight back against the virus. 

The Iranian Government has put a stop on all travel within the country to avoid a so-called "second wave" of the virus from spreading.

A spokesman, Ali Rabiei, said the ban was put into place for a reason, but that many were breaking the rules to travel during the Nowruz New Year celebrations.

He said: "Unfortunately some Iranians have ignored advice from health ministry officials and travelled during the new year holidays."

"This could cause a second wave of the coronavirus."

READ MORE: Coronavirus USA: Iran accuses US of making special version of COVID19

However, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told citizens they should not panic.

In a press conference, he previously stated: “This calamity is not that big of a deal, there have been bigger ones in the past.

“I do not want to underestimate this issue, of course, but let us not overestimate it either.”

But the rapid spread of the deadly disease has shocked the country, who are now throwing all their resources at attempting to stem the spread. 

The Ayatollah has encouraged citizens to cling to their faith throughout the pandemic, saying: “Prayer can solve many problems.

“Whatever helps public health and prevents the spread of disease is good and what helps it to spread is sin.”

In yet another precautionary measure from the country, thousands of prisoners were released to stop the spread of the virus in facilities.

Reports surfaced of poor hygiene and lack of access to essential cleaning products, which would allow the virus to spread. 

85,000 prisoners were released from Iranian prisons in recent weeks.

This includes political detainees - those held on charges against the state or the Supreme Leader. 

Human rights organisations feared other diseases such as hepatitis C and tuberculosis were also rife within prisons, leaving thousands at risk.

One of those released from prison on a temporary basis was Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman who was imprisoned on political charges she and her family have denied for years. 

 

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