Iran passes grim milestone of 40,000 deaths from coronavirus

Iran passes grim milestone of 40,000 deaths from coronavirus
Earlier this week, authorities ordered a month-long nightly business curfew in Tehran and 30 other major cities and towns. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 November 2020

Iran passes grim milestone of 40,000 deaths from coronavirus

Iran passes grim milestone of 40,000 deaths from coronavirus
  • The Iranian health ministry announced 457 new fatalities on Thursday, along with 117,517 new infections
  • The death toll has soared in recent weeks, shattering records in the nation

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran on Thursday passed the grim milestone of 40,000 coronavirus deaths, with the latest 10,000 added in less than a month, as the country struggles to contain its most widespread wave of infection yet.
The Iranian health ministry announced 457 new fatalities on Thursday, along with 117,517 new infections, pushing the total case count past 726,000, although officials have warned that’s a significant undercount.
The death toll has soared in recent weeks, shattering records in the nation that for months has suffered the worst outbreak in the Middle East.
Nearly half of Iran’s coronavirus deaths are recorded in the capital of Tehran, according to health officials, where medical workers have warned that the health system may soon be overwhelmed and demanded a strict month-long lockdown in all provincial capitals to slow the virus’ spread.
But the government has resisted shutting down the country, desperate to salvage an economy cratered by unprecedented American sanctions that effectively bar Iran from selling its oil internationally. The Trump administration reimposed sanctions in 2018 after withdrawing from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Earlier this week, authorities ordered a month-long nightly business curfew in Tehran and 30 other major cities and towns, asking nonessential shops to keep their workers home. Still, enforcement in the sprawling metropolis remains a challenge.
As deaths continue to surge with no end in sight, authorities have come under pressure. The national coronavirus task force will consider a two-week nationwide lockdown proposal this weekend, Deputy Health Minister Qassem Janbabaei told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.


Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19
Updated 23 January 2021

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19
  • The statement said the UAE was communicating with Danish authorities “to clarify the details and cases”

COPENHAGEN: The UAE said on Friday it was in talks with Denmark after the Nordic country temporarily halted all flights arriving from the Gulf Arab state, a major travel hub, due to potentially unreliable coronavirus tests in Dubai.

Denmark’s transport ministry said the five-day travel restrictions, comes after concerns were raised about the coronavirus tests administered in Dubai before departure. It added it had taken the decision after a detailed tip-off, without elaborating.
“All accredited UAE testing centers are regularly subject to strict quality checks,” the UAE foreign ministry said, adding there are severe penalties for non-compliance with international standards to ensure the highest level of quality in testing.
The statement said the UAE was communicating with Danish authorities “to clarify the details and cases” behind the decision in order to guarantee the safety of all travelers.
Denmark earlier this month made it mandatory for travelers to show a negative test from the previous 24 hours before departure toward Denmark from all countries.
Late on Friday, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter 50 persons with COVID-19 had flown in from Dubai in January alone. 33 of those arrived after Denmark made it mandatory to test negative for COVID-19 before departure.
Several Danish celebrities, including former footballer Nicklas Bendtner, were criticized earlier this month after Danish media reported they had traveled to regional tourism hub Dubai on holiday despite the government advising against going abroad to limit the spread of the coronavirus.