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Coronavirus update: Iran releases about 70,000 prisoners because of COVID-19

The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated. (Photo: AP)Premium
The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated. (Photo: AP)

  • Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi did not specify if or when those released would need to return to jail
  • Earlier on Sunday, Iran reported 49 new deaths from coronavirus, the highest toll within 24 hours since the start of the outbreak in the country

DUBAI : Iran has released approximately 70,000 prisoners because of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday, according to Mizan, the news site of the judiciary.

"The release of the prisoners, to the point where it doesn't create insecurity in society ... will continue," he said.

Raisi did not specify if or when those released would need to return to jail.

Earlier on Sunday, Iran reported 49 new deaths from the COVID-19, the highest toll within 24 hours since the start of the outbreak in the country.

"At least 194 of our compatriots who fell sick with the COVID-19 illness have passed away," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.

The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated.

Jahanpour added that 743 new infections were also confirmed within the past 24 hours, bringing the number of cases to 6,566 spread across all of Iran's 31 provinces.

With 1,805 infections, the capital Tehran remains the province with the most cases, the spokesman added.

But the situation in other provinces continued to deteriorate, with Jahanpour saying 685 cases were detected in and around Qom, the holy Shiite city south of Tehran where the country's first cases were reported.


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