TEHRAN, Iran (AFP) — Iran has confirmed three new coronavirus cases following the deaths of two elderly men, the health ministry told AFP on Thursday, as Iraq banned travel to and from its neighbor.
The pair who died were elderly Iranian citizens and residents of the city of Qom. They were the first confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle East.
Health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said two of the new cases were also in Qom and the other was in Arak, south of the holy city.
Following the announcement of the deaths, Iraq on Thursday clamped down on travel to and from the Islamic republic, with Iraq’s health ministry announcing people in Iran were barred from entering the country “until further notice.”