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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran discourages travel to tourist areas amid virus crisis

A woman wearing a protective mask looks out of a bus window as Iran [Anadolu/Getty]

Date of publication: 10 July, 2020

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With the start of the summer holidays, Iran's health ministry strongly advised Iranians to avoid travelling to certain provinces.

Tehran on Friday urged Iranians to avoid travelling to two key tourist areas as it announced a drop in daily coronavirus deaths after a record toll a day earlier.

With the start of the summer holidays, the health ministry "strongly advised everyone to avoid travelling to the provinces of Khorasan Razavi and Mazandaran", two top tourist regions in the north of the country, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

She told state television that 142 people had died of the COVID-19 illness, down from 221 on Thursday - a single-day record for the Islamic republic.

A further 2,262 new infections were also recorded on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 252,720, including 12,447 deaths. 

The situation was worrying in 19 of Iran's 31 provinces where infections were on the rise, including Tehran, Lari said.

"Most of the (new) cases of hospitalisation and infection are related to funerals and wedding celebrations," she added, citing official reports provided to the ministry.

Read also: Iran arrests charity workers for 'highlighting country's problems'

For several weeks, the novel coronavirus has gained ground in Iran, which is battling the deadliest outbreak in the Middle East.

The country's daily death toll from the virus has topped 100 since around mid-June, prompting authorities to make wearing masks mandatory in enclosed public places, among other measures. 

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