March 09, 2020 - Health Ministry: Some 2,400 recover from deadly disease
Iran’s judiciary said Monday it has temporarily released around 70,000 prisoners as part of efforts to prevent a further spread of the new coronavirus.
“The release of the prisoners should continue to the point where it doesn’t cause insecurity in society,” Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi told a meeting of judicial authorities.
“Priority goes to those who have underlying health conditions,” he added.
Raeisi said Iran’s judicial apparatus has also prioritized processing the cases of individuals accused of hoarding hygiene products and other medical requirements amid the country’s efforts to curb the epidemic.
“The hoarders will be tried earlier than they are due in open courts, and the hoarded items will soon be distributed throughout the nation,” he said.
43 deaths confirmed
The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside China, where the disease originated.
The Health Ministry on Monday reported 43 new deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall toll to 237 dead.
"Our colleagues have confirmed 595 new cases across the country," Kianoush Jahanpour, the Health Ministry's spokesman said in a televised conference.
"This brings the overall number of confirmed cases to 7,161 as of today noon," he added.
Jahanpour said the rate of new infections was dropping but added “it is still too early to judge" when the outbreak could be brought under control.
"Forty-three people have unfortunately been added to the number of those who have died of the disease, so to date there are 237 dead."
"So far, 2,394 of the confirmed cases have recovered," Jahanpour added.
With 1,945 cases, Tehran remains the province with the highest number of cases, according to the official.
The second worst-hit province with 712 confirmed cases is Qom, the Shia pilgrimage city south of the capital Tehran where the first cases were reported.
Indigenous testing kits
Separately, an Iranian official said the country’s science-based organizations have managed to produce indigenous diagnostic kits, which will be supplied to the market as of March 20.
Mostafa Qanei, the secretary of the Biotechnological Development Center of the Science and Technology Department of the Presidential Office, said diagnosis is the most important first step in treating the disease.
The devices are being produced to meet domestic demand because the kits that have been supplied by China, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF – the United Nations’ children fund – and those which the country has imported would last out only two months, he said.