The Iranian city of Qom is shutting down schools and universities following the deaths of two people from the coronavirus, Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA reported Wednesday.
The move is being taken beginning Thursday in order to prevent the spread of the virus and to investigate the matter.
Kiyanoush Jahanpour, a spokesman for Iran’s Health Ministry, confirmed the deaths of the two elderly people in a post on Twitter.
The virus remains a major concern on the world stage since its outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.
The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 2,005, according to the country’s National Health Commission.
Authorities said 74,185 confirmed cases have been reported in the last 24 hours while 136 people have died.
They said the medical conditions of 11,977 people diagnosed with the virus are serious.
The number of those under medical observation has dropped to 135,881, while the number of patients who have been treated and discharged has risen to 14,376.
The number of those detected with the virus outside China's mainland stands at 62 in Hong Kong and 10 in Macau. Both are special administrative regions.
The coronavirus, now officially known as COVID-19, is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.
It has spread to more than 20 other countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.
Many countries, including Turkey, have evacuated their citizens from the city of Wuhan – the epicenter of the virus – and other affected areas of China, placing them under quarantine and monitoring.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.
*Writing by Burak DagAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.