A vendor waits for costumers on Saturday at Tehran’s Tajrish Bazaar. (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran Reports 593 Cases of Coronavirus, 43 Deaths as of Saturday

A health official in Iran told state television on Saturday that 43 people were now confirmed dead from coronavirus in the Islamic Republic, and that the country had 593 cases. In addition, Iranian press reports are saying that one of the dead is a lawmaker who was elected in the February 21 legislative vote. The BBC, meanwhile, is citing unnamed hospital sources in Iran as saying that the death toll has climbed past 200, although the health official, Kianoush Jahanpour, denied this. “Unfortunately, nine people died of the virus in the last 24 hours,” he told state TV. “The death toll is 43 now. The new confirmed infected cases since yesterday is 205; that makes the total number of confirmed infected people 593.” Among those who have contracted coronavirus are one of the country’s vice presidents as well as the deputy health minister, who was seen coughing and mopping his brow during a press briefing the day before he announced he was a patient. Schools have been shut down until at least Tuesday while a nationwide ban on large sports and cultural gatherings will remain in effect. Mass prayers were canceled on Friday in several locales.

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