Iran said Friday, March 20, the coronavirus has killed 149 more people in the Islamic republic, raising the country’s official death toll from the disease to 1,433.
Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said 1,237 more cases have been confirmed over the past 24 hours and 19,644 people are now known to have been infected in Iran, one of the world’s worst-hit countries.
The latest figures come as Iranians celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which ushers in a two-week holiday during which Iran’s roads are normally filled with people visiting family.
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The authorities had urged the public to avoid family visits or days out this year to stem the spread of the coronavirus. But footage aired by state television showed hundreds of vehicles pouring out of Tehran Thursday night.
In holiday messages broadcast Friday, both supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani vowed Iran would overcome the outbreak.