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Rouhani: Iran has no plans to quarantine cities over coronavirus outbreak

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Iran has no plans to quarantine any cities and towns despite the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak across the country, its president has said.


Hassan Rouhani told a cabinet meeting that health authorities would continue to "only quarantine individuals".


Officials have asked people not to go to Qom, the centre of the outbreak, but have not shut a shrine in the city that attracts millions of Shia pilgrims.


Iran has reported 139 cases and 19 deaths in the past week.


The country has also been the source of dozens of cases in neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and Pakistan.


There have been 80,000 reported cases of Covid-19 worldwide and 2,700 related deaths since the disease emerged late last year. All but 2,459 cases and 34 of the deaths have been reported in China.


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