Iran has the highest death toll in the world outside of China, the epicentre of the virus. (Photo Credit: IANS)
An Iran Health Ministry spokesman says the new coronavirus has killed 43 people amid 593 confirmed cases in the Islamic Republic. Iran has the highest death toll in the world outside of China, the epicentre of the virus. Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour urged people to stay away from mass gatherings and limit their travel.
The novel coronavirus epidemic has taken over several countries now. In China, it has already claimed nearly 2,800 lives with 327 fresh cases reported on Friday and 78,824 people have now been infected with the COVID-19 strain in the mainland. The virus was officially named COVID-19 at a conference in Geneva held by the World Health Organization, where the body's chief said countries had a chance of stopping its global spread.
Meanwhile, Chinese experts are on their way to Iran, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday. The coronavirus disease is enemy of all. “We must fight together,” Hua was quoted as saying by the state-run China Daily.
During his telephonic conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China will continue to provide assistance within its capabilities to Iran in curbing the epidemic and treating the sick, the report said.
China has already donated a batch of nucleic acid detection kits and medical supplies to Iran to help fight the disease.
A team of public health experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) visited Wuhan last week to conduct a detailed probe about the virus which reportedly originated from a seafood market in the city in December last year.
The NHC said WHO experts along with their Chinese counterparts who formed a joint investigation team have held talks with the local health authority in Wuhan and visited relevant healthcare institutions.
WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that although 99 percent of cases are in China, where it remains much an emergency, it also holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world.
(With PTI inputs)