- The country has 43 cases of coronavirus infection so far.
- Turkey announced yesterday the temporary closing of its land border with Iran, as well as the suspension of flights from the country.
- Other countries took the same preventive measure on Sunday, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Iran became the country with the second-highest number of deaths caused by the new coronavirus Sunday. Iran currently has eight recorded deaths, the most outside China. The situation has led some of its neighboring countries to close their borders, or ban travel to Iran altogether, in fear of the spread of the deadly disease.
The Iranian Ministry of Health has announced the death of three new patients infected with Covid-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus. The country has 43 cases of infection so far. The first cases in Iran and the early two deaths, which took place in the holy Shi’ite city of Qom, were announced on Wednesday.
Iran was the first country in the Middle East to record deaths from the new coronavirus. As a “preventive measure,” the government announced the closure of schools and universities, cinemas, theaters, and other cultural centers in 14 of the country’s 31 provinces, including the capital, Tehran. Cultural and artistic events were also banned for a week in the affected regions.
Health Minister Said Namaki announced that the treatment of the disease would be free. At least one hospital in each city will dedicate itself exclusively to assisting, examining, and treating cases of coronavirus contamination. In Tehran, a city with more than eight million inhabitants and where four of the 15 new cases announced on Sunday were registered, the city ordered the closure of snack shops and water fountains in metro stations.
Turkey announced yesterday the temporary closing of its land border with Iran, as well as the suspension of flights from the country. “We have decided to shut the land border temporarily after an increase in the number of cases in our neighbor Iran,” said Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. The minister stressed that Turkey is “concerned” about the situation, and took these measures after talking to Iranian officials.
Roads and railways will be closed, and air traffic will also be suspended. The land and railway borders will be closed from 5 PM local time (1400 GMT) on Sunday, the minister said. He added that air traffic from Iran into Turkey would also be stopped from 8 p.m. (1700 GMT), but departures to Iran could continue.
In addition to Turkey, other countries took the same preventive measure on Sunday. Pakistan announced it would close its border with Iran because of the coronavirus. “We have closed our border with Iran because of the reports of coronavirus there,” said Ayesha Zehri, a senior official in the government of Baluchistan, the largest Pakistani province, which borders the Islamic Republic.
Likewise, Afghanistan “temporarily banned” travel by land or air to Iran to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The National Security Council said that so far, no cases of the virus have been detected in the country.