Coronavirus: Iran reports over 2,100 new cases

The virus spread rapidly to all 31 of Iran's provinces soon after the country's first cases

epa08427999 An Iranian man waits for his car in a car wash service in Tehran, Iran, 17 May 2020.  Several countries around the world have started to ease COVID-19 lock-down restrictions in an effort to restart their economies and help people in their daily routines after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.  EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH
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Iran on Tuesday reported no new coronavirus deaths in nearly a third of its provinces for 24 hours but said there were more than another 2,100 cases of infection nationwide.

The virus spread rapidly to all 31 of Iran's provinces soon after the country's first cases - two deaths in the holy city of Qom - were announced three months ago.

"Ten provinces have reported zero deaths in the past 24 hours and six others only one," said health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour.

The southwestern province of Khuzestan was still classified as "red" - the highest level on the country's colour-coded risk scale, he said.

But the situation was "stable" in most other provinces, Jahanpour told a televised news conference.

Khuzestan was currently the only province still classified as red, he added.

The official had warned in previous days of a deteriorating situation in the provinces of Lorestan, North Khorasan, Kerman, Sistan and Baluchistan and Kermanshah.

On Tuesday, he said 62 fatalities in the past 24 hours had taken the overall death toll in the country's outbreak to 7,199.

Another 2,111 new infections were confirmed over the same period, he said, raising the total caseload to 124,603.

More than 97,170 of those hospitalised with the virus had recovered and been discharged, he added.

Experts both at home and abroad have voiced scepticism about Iran's official figures, saying the real toll could be much higher.