Iran’s health ministry on Sunday reported 49 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest toll within 24 hours since the start of the outbreak in the Islamic Republic.
The new count brings the number of those killed by the virus in the country since mid-February to 194, one of the highest tolls outside of China, where the disease originated. The virus has spread to all of Iran’s 31 provinces with 6,566 confirmed cases.
Some 743 new cases of infection were identified over the past 24 hours. The total number of cases now stands at 6,566, of whom 2,134 have recovered.
Hardest hit are the provinces of Tehran, Qom, and Mazandaran with 1,805, 685, and 620 cases, respectively, according to Iran’s Deputy Health Minister, Kiyanoush Jahanpour.
Meanwhile, Iran Air announced on Sunday the suspension of all its flights to Europe until further notice.
The statement issued by the company made no mention of the novel coronavirus epidemic as a reason for the measure, citing only “restrictions” imposed by European authorities for “unknown reasons.”
According to several specialized sites, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) banned on February 3 Iran Air aircraft from European airspace, namely an Airbus A321-200 and two Airbus A330-200 that had not undergone necessary upgrades for authorization to fly in Europe.
Sweden on March 2 announced it was temporarily suspending the flight permits of Iran Air on the advice of health officials who said Tehran was “not in control” of the novel coronavirus outbreak on its soil.
The Iranian carrier operates flights to multiple European destinations including Paris, London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Vienna and Rome.