117 more die in Iran as Khmaenei urges to avoid Ramazan gatherings
April 9, 2020 04:13 PM
Iran's health ministry on Thursday said 117 new deaths from the novel coronavirus took the total to 4,110 in one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic.
But ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the latest figures showed there was a downward trend in the number of new coronavirus infections. "Today we are clearly seeing a decline in the number of new cases," Jahanpour said in a televised news conference. "We have identified 1,634 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 66,220."
The spokesman praised the people of Iran for following guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of the disease.
"We owe the reduction in the number of cases of the disease to... our beloved people, as well as to the intervention of our colleagues in the health system. "In the past 24 hours we have lost 117 people. We have had a total of 4,110 deaths due to the COVID-19 disease."
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also appealed for Iranians to pray at home during the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Iran has reported more than 4,100 deaths and 66,000 infections from the novel coronavirus, making the country's COVID-19 outbreak one of the worst in the world.
Khamenei called on Iranians to avoid mass gatherings, such as collective prayers, during Ramazan, which starts later this month. "In the absence of public gatherings during Ramadan, such as prayers, speeches... which we are deprived of this year, we should not neglect worship, invocation and humility in our loneliness," he said in a televised speech. "We need to create humility and supplication in our families and in our rooms."
Iran, which announced its first COVID-19 cases on February 19, is by far the worst hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, according to official tolls. But there has been speculation abroad that the real number of deaths and infections in the country could be higher. Ramazan is set to start in the last week of April this year.