TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran said Tuesday that the new coronavirus killed 54 more people, raising the death toll to 291 amid 8,042 cases in the Islamic Republic.
Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour made the announcement in a televised news conference. It represented an 18% increase in deaths from the day before and 12% more confirmed cases.
Iran is the hardest-hit country in the Mideast by the new coronavirus, which sickens but largely doesn’t kill those afflicted.
Elsewhere, Lebanese Health Ministry official said a man has died from the coronavirus, marking the first known death from the COVID-19 illness in the country.
The official says the 56-year-old man had recently returned from Egypt. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements.
The Mediterranean country has 41 confirmed cases of of the new coronavirus — most of them linked to Iran. At least one patient who returned from Iran has left the hospital after two weeks successful treatment.
Lebanon has been hit by a severe financial and economic crisis since October, particularly after mass protests against the country’s ruling elite broke out in October. But street demonstrations have been minimal since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Across the region, there are over 8,600 confirmed cases of the virus. Worldwide, there are over 110,000 confirmed cases of the new virus, with more than 3,800 deaths attributed to it. The number of people who have recovered is about 62,000.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.
Reporting by Nasser Karimi and Amir Vahdat; Associated Press writer Zeina Karam in Beirut contributed to this report
Image: A nurse wears protective gear in a ward dedicated for people infected with the new coronavirus at a hospital in Tehran, Iran (Mohammad Ghadamali/AP)