Iranian officials yesterday called for “granting leave to a group of prisoners as a measure to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.”
“We asked the judiciary to grant leave for prisoners with health certificates to reduce inmates’ numbers in prisons and limit the spread of the Coronavirus,” the head of Iran’s counter-coronavirus task force, Iraj Harirchi, told reporters.
The move came following reports on the death of a prisoner in Tehran’s Evin Prison after he had been suffering the Coronavirus symptoms.
Iranian authorities said on Thursday that the death toll from Coronavirus had reached 22 cases, while infection tally stood at 141. It added that the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee, Mojtaba Zolnour, was one of the patients.
The coronavirus first appeared in China for the first time on 12 December in the city of Wuhan, but Beijing officially revealed it in mid-January. It has sounded a global alarm with China reporting 2,592 deaths from the outbreak on Monday with over 77,000 confirmed cases.
Outside mainland China, the coronavirus has spread to more than 25 other countries, including the US, the UK, Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.