March 18, 2020
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with a group of school and university students in Tehran, Iran, November 3, 2019. (Photo: Official Khamenei website/Handout via Reuters)
Coronavirus could kill "millions" of Iranians if they do not stop traveling and keep ignoring social-distancing guidelines, an Iranian state TV journalist who is also an MD warned Tuesday.
Dr. Afruz Eslami cited a study by Tehran's Sharif University of Technology that predicted three possible scenarios with the worst one estimating that 300,000 people would get the virus and 110,000 would die, according to the AP report.
If the "medical facilities are not sufficient, there will be 4 million cases, and 3.5 million people will die," she said.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious ruling prohibiting "unnecessary" travel.
The death toll increased again on Tuesday, with the Health Ministry spokesman announcing that 135 more people died, raising the total to 988, according to the report.
Separately, Jordan announced a state of emergency and banned gatherings of more than 10 people, and soldiers stopped travel between major cities. Newspapers were ordered closed and private-sector work was halted. In Syria, places for mass gatherings were closed, as well as restaurants and shops.
Oman announced that anyone arriving from abroad would be quarantined, the report added.