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09 Mar 2020 | 05:28 AM UTC

Iran: Over 6500 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported as further flight restrictions are implemented March 8 /update 11

Authorities announce over 6500 confirmed COVID-19 cases as flight restrictions to Europe are implemented March 8; follow authority directives

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IRN

Event

On Sunday, March 8, health authorities have confirmed 6566 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country, including 194 deaths. Of those, 1805 cases have been confirmed in Tehran, while another 685 cases are confirmed in Qom.

That same day, IranAir announced it would stop servicing all its European destinations in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Flights remain suspended until further notice.

It is unclear whether health checks are still being conducted at the entrance of major cities. No lockdowns have been implemented. Government announced on Friday, March 6, that all Friday prayers in all provincial capitals were canceled due to the outbreak. Other measures may be implemented in the coming days.

Further international spread of the virus is expected in the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.