Iran's coronavirus cases nudge 60,000 as slowdown continues
Iran's COVID-19 cases rose by 2,483 to 58,226 on Sunday as the slowdown continued for five consecutive days in a row. Meanwhile, the tally of novel coronavirus infections in Israel surpassed 8,000.
The death toll from the viral respiratory disease in Iran rose by 151 to reach 3,603. So far, a total of 22,011 patients have recovered from the disease, while 4,057 remain in critical condition.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the extension of a ban on all sports activities until April 18 in a bid to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
But he added the existing restrictions imposed to curb the COVID-19 spread would be eased gradually in the following weeks.
Rouhani also denied that there are differences between two ministries over dealing with the pandemic. Media reports suggested that while the ministry of industry urged the resumption of economic activities, the ministry of health insisted on implementing the social distancing plan which started on March 27.
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, blasted the recent U.S. move to block a loan by the International Monetary Fund to Iran to fight the COVID-19 outbreak as "a real instance of crimes against humanity."