Coronavirus: Iran says death toll jumps by 17, with over 1,000 new infections

A worker disinfecting the streets of Teheran on March 5, 2020. Iran's death toll from coronavirus infections jumped to to 124 on March 6, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran's death toll from coronavirus infections jumped on Friday (March 6) to 124, as 17 died and more than 1,000 new cases were diagnosed over 24 hours, the health ministry said.

Continued high volumes of traffic between cities are contributing to spreading the disease, a ministry spokesman said on state TV. The authorities might resort to coercive measures to restrict such movement, the spokesman said, without elaborating.

Iranian authorities have made repeated calls to the population to avoid public places and stay at home, while schools, universities, cultural and sports centres have been temporarily closed across the country.

The number of infections rose to 4,747, he said. Iran had reported 3,513 on Thursday.

Most of the cases diagnosed in neighbouring Gulf countries have been either people who travelled to Iran or who got infected by Iranians.

Saudi Arabia on Friday called on citizens to declare visits to Iran in the past 14 days as part of measures to contain the outbreak, according to its civil aviation authority.

Members of the kingdom's Shi'ite minority tend to keep their visits to Iran a secret. The two countries are bitter rivals.

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