Friday prayers in Iran have been cancelled across all provincial capitals amid the country’s growing coronavirus outbreak, state television said.
The report Wednesday comes as Tehran and other areas cancelled Friday prayers last week over the outbreak.
Iran earlier announced that the new coronavirus has killed 92 people amid 2,922 confirmed cases across the Islamic Republic, the highest death toll in the world outside of China.
Meanwhile, the IranWire news site reported that Iran’s first vice president Eshaq Jahangiri has tested positive for coronavirus and is undergoing treatment.
Several Iranian officials have been infected with the coronavirus and one senior official died from a coronavirus infection on Monday. Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced the new figures at a news conference in Tehran, raising Iran’s death toll from the new illness to higher than Italy’s, where there has also been a serious spike in infections.
There are now over 3,140 cases of the new virus across the Mideast. Of those outside Iran in the region, most link back to the Islamic Republic.
Experts worry Iran may be under-reporting the number of cases it has. “The virus has no wings to fly,” Jahanpour said. “We are the ones who transfer it to each other.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile acknowledged that the virus was in nearly all of Iran’s 31 provinces while speaking at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
“This disease is a widespread one,” he said, according to a transcript. “It encompasses almost all of our provinces and is, in a sense, a global disease that many countries in the world have become infected with, and we must work together to tackle this problem as quickly as possible.”
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