Iran reports 17 new coronavirus deaths, Egypt 12 new cases

Neithlands also records its first virus death while Vatican, Serbia, Slovakia and Cameroon report their first cases

By: AFP      Published: 05:27 PM, 6 Mar, 2020
Iran reports 17 new coronavirus deaths, Egypt 12 new cases

The new cases "are probably those who had been infected with the virus two weeks ago and... just came to us with symptoms," he added.

Iran has tested more than 15,980 people for the virus since it emerged in the country, according to Jahanpour.

"The number of those who have recovered from the disease has reached more than 913," he noted.

Iran has been scrambling to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus which has infected people in all 31 of its provinces.

The official said Tehran has 1,413 confirmed cases so far, which is the highest among all provinces and makes it an "epicentre" for the virus.

He bemoaned the "heavy traffic in the north of the country" as Iranians flock to popular tourist spots "despite numerous warnings and all the threats this poses."

"Please, do not travel to northern provinces . . . by doing this you are gifting the virus to your family and friends."

The country has closed schools and universities until early April in a bid to contain the virus, but according to Jahanpour, the long holidays ahead appear to have prompted people to travel north.

Iran has not officially quarantined any province, but it has tried to limit domestic movement and set up checkpoints across the country.

It intensified restrictions on Friday as the police announced all people travelling to Mazandaran and Gilan -- other than residents of those provinces returning from elsewhere -- will be turned back.

Gilan is among the worst-hit provinces in the country by infections.

First death in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has recorded its first death in the novel coronavirus outbreak, health officials said on Friday.

"An 86-year-old man with COVID-19 who was admitted to the Ikazia hospital in Rotterdam has died," the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said, referring to the disease caused by the virus.

"This is the first patient in the Netherlands to die of the coronavirus," the RIVM said, adding that the source of the patient's contamination was unknown.

The Netherlands now has 82 reported cases.

"The man was isolated as soon as it became clear that he had COVID-19," the RIVM said.

Everyone who had contact with the patient -- including visitors and health workers -- is being questioned about their health, the institute said.

"All those in contact with the patient who are suffering from a cold or have a fever have been asked to remain at home. If necessary, they will be tested," the RIVM added.


Egypt detected 12 new cases Friday of the novel coronavirus among workers aboard a Nile cruise boat heading from Aswan to Luxor, a healthy ministry statement said.

"Twelve new cases tested positive for the coronavirus among Egyptian staff on the cruise boat without showing any symptoms," the joint statement with the World Health Organization said.

Authorities were alerted after it was found that a Taiwanese tourist who travelled on the ship had caused the virus to spread, they said.


The Vatican on Friday reported its first coronavirus case, saying it had suspended outpatient services at its health clinic after a patient tested positive for COVID-19.

 The clinic inside the tiny city state -- which has some 1,000 residents -- will be deep cleaned, while the emergency room will remain open, spokesman Matteo Bruni told AFP.

 The patient tested positive on Thursday.

 The clinic is used by priests, residents and employees -- including those now retired -- as well as their relatives.

 Bruni said the Vatican was getting in touch with all those who had passed through the clinic, as per protocol.


The first case of coronavirus in Serbia has been diagnosed in a man who had been in Hungary, the country's health minster announced on Friday. 

"The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Serbia. It is a 43-year-old man from Subotica (north) who recently stayed in Hungary, in Budapest," said Zlatibor Loncar at a press conference. 

The man is in solitary confinement at the Subotica hospital and his health is good, the minister said.

The people with whom he came into contact have been tested. 

"There is no need to panic, you have to behave in accordance with the authorities' recommendations," added the minister who said the patient behaved "responsibly".

Serbia is the fourth country comprising the former Yugoslavia to have reported cases of infection following Croatia (11 cases), North Macedonia (one case) and Bosnia (two cases). 

The virus, which now affects around 90 countries and territories, has infected more than 98,000 people worldwide and left nearly 3,400 people dead. 

At 0900 GMT Friday, Europe had registered 5,701 cases with 161 deaths, all but 13 of those in Italy. 


Slovakia reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday, after a man whose son visited Venice in COVID-19 hotspot Italy, tested positive.

"Today, a 52-year-old patient was confirmed to be infected," Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini told journalist Friday.

He said the man, who has not been named, is currently hospitalised in Bratislava.

"The patient did not travel anywhere recently but his son returned from Venice a couple of weeks ago," Pellegrini added.

The patient’s sample was tested twice, so there is no doubt about coronavirus, according to the prime minister.

"His son has not shown any signs of illness," Pellegrini said.

More than 300 samples of suspected infections were tested negative in Slovakia as of Friday, local health authorities said.

Slovakia had been the only country in Central Europe without a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.

The virus, which now affects around 90 countries and territories, has infected more than 98,000 people worldwide and left nearly 3,400 people dead. 

At 0900 GMT Friday, Europe had registered 5,701 cases with 161 deaths, all but 13 of those in Italy.


Cameroon has confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus, a French national who arrived in the capital Yaounde in February, the government said on Friday.

 The man, 58, has been placed in isolation in a hospital, the health ministry said in a statement.

 In sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal has registered four cases, all foreign nationals, and South Africa and Nigeria have one case each since the outbreak emerged in December in China.