A man wearing a mask as a preventive measure against the coronavirus walks at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Iran’s health ministry on Friday reported two more deaths among 13 new cases of coronavirus in the Islamic republic, bringing the total number of deaths to four and infections to 18. “Thirteen new cases have been confirmed,” ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Twitter. “Unfortunately two of them have lost their lives.”
On Thursday, Iran said three new coronavirus cases were reported after the deaths of two elderly men, as Iraq banned travel to and from its neighbour. The pair who died was elderly Iranian citizens and residents of the city of Qom. They were the first confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle-East.
Health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said two of the new cases were also in Qom and the other was in Arak, south of the holy city. Qom is a centre for Islamic studies and tourists, attracting scholars from Iran and beyond. However, a government official said the deceased men had not left Iran.
Following the announcement of the deaths, Iraq on Thursday clamped down on travel to and from the Islamic republic, with Iraq's health ministry announcing people in Iran were barred from entering the country "until further notice".
(With agency inputs)