Coronavirus: Iran reports 63 deaths, drop in daily death rate

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Iran on Friday announced 63 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, saying the rate of fatalities and infections were dropping while calling on the public to remain vigilant.

The deaths recorded in the past 24 hours brought to 6,091 the overall toll from the illness in the Middle East's hardest-hit country.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 1,006 people tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

“We have seen drops in the numbers of infections and deaths in recent days,” Jahanpour said on state television.

“The process of managing the disease is continuing," he added.

Jahanpour expressed hope that Iran would get close to "controlling" the outbreak with people observing health protocols.

The new infections brought to 95,646 the number recorded in the Islamic republic since it announced its first cases in mid-February.

More than 76,300 of those had already been released from hospital after recovering.

Of those still being treated, 2,899 were in critical condition.

Doubts have been cast over Iran's coronavirus figures by experts and officials both at home and abroad.

Deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi said 116 of Iran's 434 counties have been given the all clear which might lead to the reopening of religious, cultural and sport centres, state news agency IRNA reported.

But the outbreak had worsened in some provinces, including Mazandaran on the Caspian Sea coast.
IRNA said the number of infections in the popular tourist spot had spiked in the past day after two weeks of downward trajectory.

Iran has shut schools, universities, cinemas and stadiums among other public spaces since March to contain the spread of the virus.

But it has allowed a phased reopening of its economy and lifted restrictions on intercity travel since April 11.

Mosques remain closed even as Muslims observe the fasting month of Ramadan.

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