One week ago, Iran had fewer than 100 confirmed coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, Iranian authorities said there were 2,336 confirmed cases, making the Middle Eastern country one of the worst affected in the world.
There are now 77 confirmed deaths from coronavirus, Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said on state TV Tuesday.
Here’s what’s going on:
- Freeing prisoners: Iran will temporarily release more than 54,000 prisoners in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA, citing Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili. The release of prisoners is under the supervision of Iran’s health ministry.
- Lawmakers infected: 23 lawmakers from Iran’s parliament have tested positive for coronavirus. That means around 8% are infected. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani announced last Friday that parliament sessions would be suspended until further notice.
- Medical supplies: Iran received its first planeload of assistance from the World Health Organization on Monday. That included eight tons of test kits that will allow it to test 100,000 people, IRNA said in a report. The WHO also sent six teams of epidemiologists, physicians and specialists in laboratories tests.
- Foreigners evacuated: The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that it is evacuating all its citizens from Iran amid fears of coronavirus spread, state news agency WAM reported. (CNN).