The coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the globe, but Iran is struggling to contain the deadly virus. Tehran has now confirmed the country has another 1,075 cases – taking them to 10,075. The country also announced another 75 deaths of the deadly virus – taking them to a total of 429.
Iran is the worst affected country just behind China and Italy with its confirmed cases, and confirmed deaths.
It is also the worst affected country in the Middle East, with only Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon also recording deaths from the virus.
Iran has been criticised for its response to the deadly virus and urged people to stay at home, avoid unnecessary journeys and spread no rumours about the coronavirus on Wednesday after the death toll rose.
“Only the health ministry…is in charge of announcing figures…violators will be charged with acting against national security,” said Iran’s prosecutor-general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri in a statement, state TV reported.
Iran has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for emergency funding to help it fight the coronavirus outbreak, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.
The outbreak has damaged Iranian businesses and is likely to hit its non-oil exports after many neighbouring countries and trade partners shut their borders.
Iranian Central Bank chief Abdolnaser Hemmati wrote on his Instagram page that “in a letter addressed to the head of IMF, I have requested five billion US dollars from the RFI emergency fund to help our fight against the coronavirus”.
The country is still being hit with sanctions from the US, which were reimposed by Donald Trump after he withdrew the United States from a multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran in 2018.
The Head of US Central Command suggested coronavirus could make Iran more dangerous than less dangers.
It comes after the US President halted flights from Europe to try to combat the coronavirus crisis.
Trump imposed sweeping restrictions on travel from Europe, hitting battered and heightening global alarm over the coronavirus.
The move caused a significant knock-on effect for global markets, with the FTSE 100 and Dow Jones plummeting shortly after opening on Thursday.
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Trump had downplayed risks to the United States during the crisis, but with epidemics from Iran to Italy and Spain, the President chose to limit travel from continental Europe for 30 days.
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” he said in a prime-time televised address from the Oval Office on Wednesday.
The European Union hit back shortly after the announcement from the US.
“The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to improve a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Council president Charles Michel said in a statement.
Worldwide, over 129,000 cases of coronavirus have been recorded, with over 4,500 deaths.
Much of China remains under strict lockdown with over 80,000 cases, and over 3,000 deaths.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Italy announced the whole country would be placed under lockdown conditions to try to halt the deadly virus from spiralling further out of control.
They have recorded over 12,000 cases and more than 800 deaths from the virus.
Meanwhile, cases in Spain, France and Germany are all recording an increase in cases, with each country announcing more than 2,000 cases.
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