Iran screens 10 million for coronavirus symptoms

Iran's Health Ministry

Iran’s Health Ministry says the country has screened more than 10 million people for the new coronavirus symptoms as it goes all out against the outbreak.

Speaking on Sunday, Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi said the screening had been carried out over a span of four days.

“6.5 million individuals were screened at health centers, and 3.7 million others via the online platform,” he said.

In all, 900 people were hospitalized among those who tested positive for the virus, the official said.

Raeisi warned that visiting hospitals raises the risk of infection to 40 percent, advising people to register their symptoms via the instead online service.

People potentially requiring hospitalization will be provided with relevant instructions by the ministry’s experts who will call them, he added.

The official also commended high participation in the screening program in northern Gilan, which houses a large concentration of virus cases, saying around 76 percent of the province’s population had already been screened.

Raeisi called the project the least costly and most accessible way of breaking the chain of infection. He also advised the public to remain home, saying it is the only way to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The new virus, a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year. It has killed nearly 5,800 people globally, and infected over 153,000 others, according to the World Health Organization.

In Iran, 14,991 people have been infected, 4,996 have recovered, and 853 have lost their lives to the infection as of Monday.

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