Dubai: Iran's death toll from coronavirus reached 145 on Saturday after another 21 people were confirmed to have died during the last day, among them a conservative lawmaker from Tehran, officials and local news agencies said.
Announcing the latest deaths from the virus, a health ministry official said in a televised briefing that the tally of confirmed infections had increased by more than 1,000 during the last 24 hours, totaling 5,823 by Saturday.
Most of the cases diagnosed in neighbouring Gulf countries have been either people who travelled to Iran or who got infected by Iranians.
Iranian lawmaker Fatehmeh Rahbar was among those who died on Friday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, in another sign that the disease is spreading within state institutions.
On March 2, Tasnim reported the death of Mohammad Mirmohammadi. He was a member of the Expediency Council, an entity that resolves disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council - a hardline watchdog body.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi and another member of parliament, Mahmoud Sadeghi, have said they have also contracted the virus.
As authorities work to contain the outbreak, Iran's Mosque Authority postponed all gatherings and celebrations until further notice, the Mehr news agency said.
Saudi Arabia yesterday called on citizens to declare visits to Iran in the past 14 days, as part of measures to contain the outbreak, according to its civil aviation authority.
It has condemned Iran for not stamping passports of Saudi nationals entering Iranian territory, calling Iran’s “irresponsible behaviour” a public health threat.