Iran Closes Schools, Takes Other Measures As Virus Toll Rises Further

Iran has closed all schools and adopted a series of other new measures as it battles the worst outbreak of coronavirus outside of China.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki told a news conference on March 5 that all schools and universities will remain closed until the end of the Iranian calendar year on March 20, and that checkpoints will be used to limit travel between major cities.

“People should not consider this as an opportunity to go travelling. They should stay home and take our warnings seriously,” Saeed Namaki said at a televised press conference.

The moves come after authorities said the death toll in Iran from COVID-19, the illness sparked by the coronavirus had risen to 107, while the number of confirmed cases had reached 3,513.

The coronavirus has been found in almost all of Iran’s provinces, President Hassan Rohani said on March 4, and many experts fear the real toll of both the dead and the infected could be much higher.

Friday Prayers in all provincial capitals this week have been canceled because of the outbreak.