Around 3.5 million people may die in Iran from the coronavirus if quarantine measures are not effectively enforced, an Iranian study warned on Wednesday.
The study by a scientific committee at Tehran's prestigious Sharif University of Technology proposed three scenarios regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in the Islamic Republic, according to Iran's Tinn new website.
It suggested that if the quarantine measures are fully implemented and people follow instructions issued by the authorities, Iran will see 120,000 infections and 12,000 deaths by the beginning of April, when the outbreak will reach its peak, according to the best scenario in which people are isolated from each other by 80 percent.
If people are isolated from each other by 50 percent, Iran will see 300,000 cases and 110,000 deaths by the end of the April, the study said.
It, however, warned that if people fail to follow instructions, the outbreak will peak in late May, with the country witnessing about 4 million coronavirus cases, and about 3.5 million deaths.
Iranian authorities have so far recorded 988 deaths from the novel coronavirus.
Iran's Health Ministry said 135 people died over the last 24 hours with 1,178 new infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 16,169.
Worldwide, out of over 199,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,900, while more than 82,500 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.
The number of active cases is more than 108,500 -- 94% mild and 6% in critical condition, according to the website.
The WHO has declared Europe the new epicenter of the virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.
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*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz