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Iranian Lawmaker Dies After Contracting Coronavirus As Fatality Toll Hits 145

By RFE/RL March 07, 2020

Iran's death toll from the coronavirus hit 145 on March 7 after another 21 people were confirmed to have died during the previous day, including a conservative lawmaker.

In a televised briefing, a Health Ministry official said the tally of confirmed infections in Iran had increased by more than 1,000 during the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 5,823 by March 7.

Fatemeh Rahbar, a newly elected lawmaker from Tehran, was among those who died on March 6, Iranian media earlier reported.

Iran is one of the countries outside China most affected by the epidemic.

The coronavirus has claimed the lives of several other Iranian officials, including an adviser to Iran's supreme leader and a former envoy to the Vatican.

A number of other officials have tested positive for the virus, including Vice President Masumeh Ebtekar, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, and more than 20 parliament deputies.

Iran has closed schools and universities, suspended major cultural and sporting events, and reduced working hours across the country to slow the contagion, which has spread to all of its 31 provinces.

Global stock markets have been battered over the past 10 days as fears rise of an economic slump amid declining consumer demand and travel because of the virus.

China says that nearly all of its new confirmed coronavirus cases outside of the epicenter city of Wuhan have originated abroad, including many who arrived on flights from Iran.

The authorities on March 7 said mainland China had 99 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections for the day, down from 143 cases a day earlier and the lowest daily number since January 20,

The National Health Commission (NHC) said that, outside of the central Hubei Province, there were 25 new confirmed cases reported for March 6, of which 24 came from outside China.

It said that most of them were in northwestern Gansu Province from quarantined passengers who entered the provincial capital of Lanzhou on commercial flights from Iran between March 2 and March 5.

The capital, Beijing, reported four new cases -- three of which came from Italy.

For the second day in a row, there were no new infections in Hubei outside of Wuhan, the provincial capital.

The latest cases bring the accumulated number of confirmed infections in mainland China to 80,651.

Deaths related to COVID-19 in mainland China rose by 28 for the day to total 3,070.

In recent days, the rate of new infections has risen higher outside of China than in the country where it started.

Iran and Italy, along with South Korea, have been the hardest-hit countries.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa

Source: slow-many-originated-iran/30474462.html

Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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