March 16, 2020 / 11:01 AM / 22 days ago

Iran's death toll from coronavirus increases to 853: official

FILE PHOTO: Members of a medical team spray disinfectant to sanitize outdoor place of Imam Reza's holy shrine, following the coronavirus outbreak, in Mashhad, Iran February 27, 2020. Picture taken February 27, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 853, with 129 new deaths in the past 24 hours, a health ministry official tweeted on Monday, adding that a total of 14,991 people have been infected across Iran.

“In the past 24 hours we had 1,053 confirmed new cases of coronavirus and 129 new deaths,” Alireza Vahabzadeh tweeted.

To contain the outbreak in Iran, one of the deadliest outside of China, officials have called on people to stay at home.

“Based on the figures, we have past the peak of the outbreak, but I still suggest people stay at home, and in case of urgency, observe all health protocols,” said President Hassan Rouhani, according to state TV.

A host of senior officials, politicians, doctors, commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards and clerics have been infected with the virus. Several of them, including two members of a top clerical body, have died, according to state media.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alex Richardson

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