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Three Coronavirus Cases in Iran, Health Officials Demand Halting Religious Gatherings

Three Coronavirus Cases in Iran, Health Officials Demand Halting Religious Gatherings

Thursday, 20 February, 2020 - 12:00
A health worker uses an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of a tourist who arrives at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport, Thailand, January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Panumas Sanguanwong
Asharq Al-Awsat

Two new individuals have tested positive for the coronavirus in Iran's Qom, where two died of it this week. The city is about 120 km (75 miles) south of the capital Tehran.

In all, three people have tested positive for the virus, an Iranian health ministry spokesman said.

"Two people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Qom and one person in Arak, bringing the total of confirmed cases to five in Iran," spokesman Kianush Jahanpur tweeted.

He noted that all patients were Iranian and the person in the central city of Arak was a doctor from Qom, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, health officials urged all religious gatherings to be suspended in the city, news agency ISNA said on Thursday.

Earlier, two Iranians died in hospital after testing positive in Qom, the head of the city's University of Medical Sciences said Wednesday.

Iranian authorities were now investigating the origin of the disease, and its possible link with religious pilgrims from Pakistan or other countries.

Iran’s health minister, Saeed Namaki confirmed that the roughly 60 Iranian students evacuated from China's Wuhan had been quarantined upon their return to Iran and were discharged after 14 days without any health problems, The Associated Press reported.

Coronavirus emerged in Wuhan in December. Since then, more than 75,000 people have been infected globally, with more than 2,000 deaths being reported, mostly in China.

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