Iran Reports Jump in Coronavirus Cases, Eight More Deaths

(Bloomberg) -- Iran reported eight new deaths linked to the coronavirus and 143 more cases as it struggles to contain the largest outbreak in the Middle East.

The death toll in the country now stands at 34 -- the most outside of China -- and 388 people have been infected, state television reported. The Health Ministry said it expects an upward trajectory in confirmed cases in the next few days.

Iran’s parliament has suspended sessions indefinitely, and the education minister said universities and public places will remain closed for another week, state television reported. Travelers suspected of having the virus will be stopped at city entrances and quarantined for 14 days.

The government has become the target of popular anger and ridicule over its slow and confused response to the outbreak, a situation made worse by a shortage of medical supplies caused in part by U.S. sanctions.

Of the infections recorded over last 24 hours, 64 were in Tehran province, while Gilan had 25 and Qom 16. The jump in confirmed cases is due to more laboratories running tests, the ministry said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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