Iran announced on Sunday that an Iranian citizen who contracted the new coronavirus (COVID) died in the country, bringing the number of deaths to seven.
Head of the Medical Science University in the Mazandaran province said that the man, who died today, had traveled from Tehran to Tonekabon.
Meanwhile, Iran is currently adopting drastic measures to contain the new coronavirus outbreak, ordering the closure of schools, universities and cultural centres across 14 provinces from Sunday following seven deaths in the country – the highest so far outside East Asia and the first in the Middle East.
Iran’s outbreak surfaced on Wednesday and has quickly worsened with 28 cases confirmed.
“The concern is that we have seen a very rapid increase in Iran in a matter of a few days,” said Sylvie Briand, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global infectious hazard preparedness department.
Iran’s government also ordered all “art and cinema events” nationwide canceled until the end of the coming week.
Neighboring Iraq on Thursday clamped down on travel to and from Iran, and flag carrier Kuwait Airways has suspended flights to the country.
Although Egypt is the only African country with a confirmed case of Covid-19 – the name given to the disease caused by the virus – the WHO warned that the continent’s health systems were ill-equipped to cope with a potential major outbreak and urged more cooperation among the African Union.