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Iran warns of overwhelmed health facilities

Iran warns of overwhelmed health facilities
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Iran warned on Sunday that its health facilities could be overwhelmed by coronavirus cases.

The country, which has the third-most recorded cases and deaths, reported another 113 deaths on Sunday, pushing its death toll to 724, The Associated Press reported. Iran has confirmed 14,000 cases. 

“If the trend continues, there will not be enough capacity,” said Ali Reza Zali, who is leading the Iranian campaign against the outbreak, the state-run IRNA news agency reported, according to the AP.

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The country is believed to have 110,000 hospital beds, with 30,000 in the capital, Tehran, but authorities said they will develop mobile clinics as needed. 

Zali also said “many” of the people who have died from the virus were otherwise healthy, which strays from other statements from local officials who say the disease only impacts those who are older and/or sick. About 55 percent of the people who died were in their 60s, while 15 percent were younger than 40. 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the country would not be implementing a general quarantine and would continue to work to keep its borders open, according to the AP.

Iran is experiencing the worst outbreak in the Middle East. Several senior officials, including Cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, Revolutionary Guard members and Health Ministry officials have tested positive for the virus. 

 

The U.S., which implemented sanctions against Iran after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal, said it has offered to give humanitarian aid, but Tehran denied it. 

Most people who contact the disease experience mild or moderate symptoms and recover, while older adults and people with existing health problems are more at risk.