Iran says no longer at 'red' status, reports 93 new virus deaths

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Iran's health ministry said on Friday that the virus-hit country was no longer at "red" status as it announced another 93 deaths from its COVID-19 outbreak.

Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the novel coronavirus fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours took Iran's overall toll to 5,574.

Jahanpour also announced 1,168 new cases of coronavirus infection, taking the country's total to 88,194.

But he said that 66,596 patients had been released from hospital after recovering from the illness.

"None of our provinces are in the red, but warnings remain, and the situation will not be considered normal at all," he tweeted.

The actual numbers of those killed and sickened by the are widely thought to be much higher than the Iranian government's official tolls.

Iran has been struggling to contain the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease since revealing its first cases more than two months ago.

The first cases it announced on February 19 were deaths in the Shiite holy city of Qom, south of the capital.

The outbreak was quick to spread to all of the country's 31 provinces.

Despite still battling the virus, the Iranian government has allowed many businesses to reopen since April 11 after shutting most down in mid-March to prevent the spread of the disease.

© 2020 AFP

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