Iran claims increase of coronavirus-free counties

The number of 'white zones', free of coronavirus infection, has increased in Iran to 280 counties, said the Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei, IRNA reports.

Rabiei also said that Iran ranks third after China and Switzerland among countries that had the fastest recovery from COVID-19.

"The recovery of coronavirus patients in Iran is improving, and 94 percent of individuals who were treated, have recovered," said the official.

"The latest report of the National Headquarters for Fighting Coronavirus indicates that the transmission rate of the disease has slowed down in the past four weeks," he said.

"The reports show that we have passed the control stage and entered the curbing phase. This phase requires serious cooperation from all organizations and the Health Ministry as well," Rabiei said.

"Social distancing is the right strategy that should be followed," he said.

Iran continues to monitor the coronavirus situation in the country. The country continues to apply strict measures to contain the further spread. Reportedly, the disease was brought to Iran by a businessman from Iran's Qom city, who went on a business trip to China, despite official warnings. The man died later from the disease.

The Islamic Republic only announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19.

The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.


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