Iran says virus deaths pass 4,000 but cases dropping Apr 10, 2020 0 569 12345 AFPTehranIran’s health ministry on Thursday said 117 new deaths from the novel coronavirus took the total to 4,110 in one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic.But ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the latest figures showed there was a downward trend in the number of new coronavirus infections.“Today we are clearly seeing a decline in the number of new cases,” Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.“We have identified 1,634 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 66,220.”The spokesman praised the people of Iran for following guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 disease.“We owe the reduction in the number of cases of the disease to... our beloved people, as well as to the intervention of our colleagues in the health system,” said Jahanpour.“In the past 24 hours we have lost 117 people. We have had a total of 4,110 deaths due to the COVID-19 disease.”Iran, which announced its first coronavirus cases on February 19, is by far the worst hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, according to official tolls.But there has been speculation abroad that the real number of deaths and infections in the country could be higher.In response to the health crisis, Iran shut schools and universities as well as cinemas, stadiums and holy Shiite Muslim shrines.Authorities have repeatedly appealed to the public to refrain from gatherings, especially over the Persian New Year holidays that ended last week.Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday flagged a gradual reopening of “low-risk” businesses within the next week.But authorities have yet to specify which businesses qualify for the first phase of measures aimed at protecting Iran’s sanctions-hit economy.Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday called on Iranians to pray at home during the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.“In the absence of public gatherings during Ramadan, such as prayers, speeches... which we are deprived of this year, we should not neglect worship, invocation and humility in our loneliness,” he said in a televised speech.“We need to create humility and supplication in our families and in our rooms.”Ramadan is set to start in the last week of April this year. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Spy chief Kadhemi named Iraq’s third PM-designate this year Apr 10, 2020 0 2589 India seals coronavirus hotspots, masks made compulsory Apr 10, 2020 0 543 Africa ‘elbowed out’ in quest for tools to fight COVID-19: AU Apr 10, 2020 0 528 Pakistan shoots down Indian drone as Kashmir tensions rise Islamabad Pakistan’s army said on Thursday it had shot down a small Indian surveillance drone in Kashmir, as tensions rose over continued cross-border shelling in the disputed territory. According to a statement from .. IS attack in Syria kills 27 regime forces: Monitor Beirut At least 27 Syrian regime fighters were killed on Thursday in an Islamic State group attack in the central province of Homs amid fierce clashes, a war monitor said. Pro-government fighters backed by Russian air .. Calm reported in Yemen after Saudi alliance’s truce announcement DPA Sana’a Calm was prevailing in war-wracked Yemen, witnesses said on Thursday, a day after a Saudi-led alliance fighting Iran-linked rebels announced a temporary ceasefire to focus attention on battling the new .. Police arrest Filipinos for flagellating themselves despite lockdown DPA Manila Police in the Philippines said on Thursday that they had arrested three men for flagellating themselves despite a ban on Holy Week rituals amid a lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The men, aged 18 .. AU deputy slams ‘colonialist’ suggestion of vaccine tests in Africa Nairobi A controversial suggestion made by French doctors to test a coronavirus vaccine in Africa smacks of colonialism and will not be pursued, the deputy head of the African Union Commission said on Thursday. “We .. Indonesia records highest daily increase in COVID-19 deaths Jakarta Indonesia on Thursday recorded its highest number of deaths from coronavirus in a single day since the country’s first cases were announced early last month. The death toll from Covid-19, the disease caused by ..