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Iran deploys soldiers to combat coronavirus as death toll rises to 77

Iran deploys soldiers to combat coronavirus as death toll rises to 77
March 03
14:05 2020

Iran says 11 more people have died of coronavirus and that it is mobilising its armed forces to combat the virus.

This was disclosed by Ali Reza Raisi, a health ministry official, during a press conference in Tehran, on Tuesday.

Raisi said since the outbreak of the disease in the country, about 2, 336 people have been infected with the virus, including 835 new cases.

“Based on the latest statistics that have been compiled, there have been an additional 835 definite new infections. Unfortunately, we have 11 new deaths,” Raisi said.

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“With these numbers, the definite number of new infections is 2,336 and the definite number of deaths has reached 77.”

The country has the fourth-highest number of cases in the world and the highest number of coronavirus deaths (77) outside China.
Earlier, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, ordered the country’s armed forces to assist its health ministry in combating the spread of the disease.

The country’s authorities say they have plans to “potentially mobilise 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to confront the virus”.

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

The supreme leader asked Iranians to follow the recommendations of authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He asked government agencies to also give full support to the health ministry, adding that authorities have dealt transparently with the spread of the virus.

“Don’t violate the recommendations and instructions of the responsible authorities in terms of prevention, in terms of keeping hands, face and living environment clean and not infecting these and preventing the infection of these,” he said.

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The country has lost two of its top officials to the disease.

On Monday, Seyed Mohammad Mir-Mohammadi, a member of the expediency discernment council that advises Khamenei, died of the disease.

Mir-Mohammadi’s death comes two days after Mohammad Ali Dastak, an elected member of the Iranian parliament, died of the disease which is spreading rapidly in the country.

Dastak, who was recently elected as the representative for Astana Ashrafieh, died on Saturday morning — a few days after he tested positive for the virus.

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Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran vice-president for women and affairs, and Iraj Harirchi, the country’s deputy health minister, have also contracted the virus.

The Islamic republic cancelled regular Friday prayers to avoid an epidemic and it asked citizens to avoid travel within the country in order to curtail the spread of the virus.

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It also banned Chinese citizens from entering the country.

Coronavirus has killed over 3000 persons, and there are more than 88,000 confirmed cases across the world.

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