Iran coronavirus death toll tops 9,500

Nurses work in a COVID-19 ward in Tehran. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 20 June 2020

Iran coronavirus death toll tops 9,500

  • The virus has claimed 115 Iranian lives in the last 24 hours
  • Iran has experienced the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East

TEHRAN: Iranian health authorities Saturday announced more than 100 new deaths from coronavirus and another 2,000 cases of the illness, as the country’s fight against the pandemic entered its fifth month.
Iran reported its first coronavirus cases on February 19, and it has since struggled to contain the outbreak, the worst in the Middle East.
The Islamic republic’s official figures have shown an upward trajectory in new cases of infection since early May.
Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said there were 115 fatalities in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 9,507.
There were also 2,322 new cases of infection, with the total number of confirmed cases now at 202,584, she added.
There has been skepticism at home and abroad about Iran’s official figures, with concerns the real toll could be much higher.
President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday warned that stress created by the disease could leave people “depressed.”
He called on experts and artists to prepare Iranians mentally “to fight the virus for a long time.”
“Without perseverance and continuity, we risk losing all our gains,” he said during a meeting of a taskforce set up to fight the pandemic.
Rouhani also confirmed his government’s decision to allow provinces to make their own decisions on restrictive measures, implemented with “the president’s approval.”
Seven of Iran’s 31 provinces — Khuzestan, Khorasan Razavi, Kermanshah, West and East Azerbaijan, Golestan and Kurdistan — are currently “red,” the highest level on its color-coded risk scale, Lari said.


Dawn of a new leader, Kuwait’s new emir sworn in and pledges to do his ‘utmost best’

Updated 53 min 43 sec ago

Dawn of a new leader, Kuwait’s new emir sworn in and pledges to do his ‘utmost best’

  • The new Emir said the country’s constitution ensured a “smooth transition” of leadership
  • He succeeds his brother Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who ruled Kuwait since 2006

DUBAI: Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabeh has been sworn in as the new Kuwait Emir on Wednesday, vowing to carry out his responsibilities to his utmost best, state news agency KUNA has reported.
Al-Sabah said the country’s constitution ensured a “smooth transition” of leadership, as the country mourned the death of his brother Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who ruled Kuwait since 2006.
“The trust bestowed upon me by the Kuwaiti people is a trust I bear in my neck,” the new Emir said.

(AFP)

“Kuwait has been subjected, throughout its long history, to serious and harsh challenges that we managed to overcome through cooperation,” he added.

Al-Sabah paid tribute to the previous leadership and said “Sheikh Sabah’s policy will remain a highlight for us.”
The Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim also spoke at the ceremony.
“We are confident that Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will lead Kuwait to prosperity,” he said.

His appointment was immediately welcomed by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who said that his country and Kuwait have always had strong bonds throughout the years.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Iraq’s Bahram Salih also congratulated the Sheikh Nawaf on his new role.