Media reports say that Iran has confirmed 15 new cases of the new coronavirus, taking the total to 43 with a death toll of eight.  It is the highest death toll outside of China.  Most of the infections have reportedly been in the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Qom.

Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kiyanoush Jahanpour said that the death toll of the coronavirus epidemic reached eight people, adding that 43 others were affected, according to IRNA.

Based on the medical test results, some 15 more have been affected by lethal virus, Jahanpour said.

He further added that 7 people in Qom, 4 in Tehran, 2 in Gilan, 1 in Markazi and 1 more in Tonekabon have been affected.

Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki said yesterday that the virus came from China to Qom city.  According to him, a merchant from Qom, who died of the virus, used to travel regularly to China. Flights were suspended between the two countries but the merchant used indirect flights, the minister noted.  

He urged people to avoid traveling to Qom, a major destination for Shi’ite pilgrims 120 kilometers south of Tehran.

Iran's First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Sunday that fight against coronavirus requires national resolve.

Speaking in the committee themed “fight against coronavirus,” Jahangiri urged Iranians to help prevent spread of the virus through preventive measures, according to IRNA.  

He said all bodies in the private sector are obliged to maintain necessary cooperation on fight against coronavirus with the committee.