Iran coronavirus deaths pass 3,000: health ministry

Nurses wearing protective suits, prepare a patient with coronavirus to be transferred to Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran. Iran’s 2,987 new coronavirus cases brought the total to 47,593. (West Asia News Agency/Reuters)
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Updated 02 April 2020

Iran coronavirus deaths pass 3,000: health ministry

  • 2,987 new coronavirus cases bring the total to 47,593

TEHRAN: Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has passed 3,000, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, as President Hassan Rouhani accused Washington of missing a “historic opportunity” to lift sanctions. 

Tensions between the arch-foes have soared since President Donald Trump abandoned a nuclear agreement in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions. 

Tehran has repeatedly called on Washington to reverse its policy, which has been opposed by US allies, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the coronavirus death toll in Iran now stood at 3,036 following 138 new fatalities in the past 24 hours. 

He added that 2,987 new cases had been confirmed, bringing the total to 47,593, with 15,473 of those hospitalized having recovered and been discharged. 

“This was the best, historic opportunity for the Americans to reverse their wrong path and for once, tell their nation they are not against the Iranian people,” Rouhani said in televised comments at a Cabinet meeting. 

They “did not learn their lesson even during this difficult global situation,” he said. 

“This was a humanitarian issue. No one would have blamed them for retreating.” 

Medicines and medical equipment are technically exempt from the US sanctions but purchases are frequently blocked by the unwillingness of banks to process purchases for fear of incurring large penalties in the US. 

Countries including Azerbaijan, Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and the UAE have all sent shipments of medical aid to Iran. 

European nations have also delivered medical goods to Iran in the first transaction under the Instex financing mechanism set up to get round US sanctions, Germany said on Tuesday. 

It is more than a year since Britain, France and Germany announced the creation of Instex, a delay that has prompted Iran to question European governments’ commitment to seeing it through in defiance of the Trump administration. 


Israel records highest single-day virus tally

Updated 44 min 7 sec ago

Israel records highest single-day virus tally

  • Benjamin Netanyahu has admitted that the decision to allow businesses, including bars and event spaces, to re-open may have been made “too soon”
  • Certain towns and city neighborhoods across the country considered virus hotspots have been placed under more robust lockdowns

JERUSALEM: Israel has recorded its highest number of coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period, with nearly 1,500 new cases confirmed in the most recent daily count, the health ministry said Friday.
Israel had won early praise for its virus containment efforts, but cases have surged since a broad re-opening began in May.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted in a late Thursday news conference that the decision to allow businesses, including bars and event spaces, to re-open may have been made “too soon.”
“I take responsibility for it,” he told reporters.
From midnight (2100 GMT) on Wednesday to midnight on Thursday, the health ministry registered 1,504 new coronavirus infections — the highest single-day tally since Israel confirmed its first case on February 21.
The country of roughly nine million has now registered more than 36,000 cases, including 351 deaths.
Various restrictions have been re-imposed, including the closure of venues, clubs, bars, gyms and public pools.
Limits on the number of people allowed in restaurants and places of worship have also been reinstated.
Certain towns and city neighborhoods across the country considered virus hotspots have been placed under more robust lockdowns.
Israel’s director of public health services, Siegal Sadetzki, resigned this week, blasting her superiors for ignoring her advice and steering Israel’s virus response off course.
“Despite repeated warnings in different forums, we are watching with frustration as our window of opportunity (to contain the virus) is running out,” Sadetzki said in a Facebook post announcing her resignation.