Iran reports 94 virus deaths but says cases going down

By: AFP      Published: 05:36 PM, 22 Apr, 2020
Iran reports 94 virus deaths but says cases going down
An Iranian woman wearing a mask waits for the bus in Tehran amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. AFP

Iran announced on Wednesday 94 new deaths from the novel coronavirus but said the cases of people infected in the country was on the way down.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the fatalities detected in the past 24 hours took Iran's overall death toll to 5,391. The number of people infected with the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease rose by 1,194, bringing the total to 85,996.

"The gradual downward trend in cases of infections has been maintained," Jahanpour told a televised news conference.

President Hassan Rouhani however called on people to remain vigilant. "If we arrogantly think that the job is done and we have won, then this would be the biggest problem that could affect us," he said during a weekly meeting of his cabinet.

Iran has struggled to contain the virus outbreak since reporting its first cases on February 19 -- two deaths in the Shiite holy city of Qom. The number of Iranians killed and sickened by the virus is widely thought to be much higher, however.

Despite that, Iran has allowed many businesses to reopen since April 11 after shutting most down in mid-March to prevent the spread of the disease.