Iran locks down southwestern county after seeing sharp rise in coronavirus cases

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A county in southwestern Iran has been placed under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday, also quoting the provincial governor as saying there had been a sharp rise in new cases across the province.

Tasnim quoted Gholamreza Shariati, governor of Khuzestan province, which borders Iraq and includes the county of Abadan, as saying people had not been observing social distancing rules.

“Because of this the number of corona patients in the province has tripled and the hospitalization of patients has risen by 60 percent,” Shariati said.

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Banks and offices in Abadan will be closed until the end of the week and entry corridors to the county from the north and east have been closed, according to Tasnim.

Offices will be closed and travel restrictions will also apply to nine other counties in oil-rich Khuzestan, Tasnim cited Shariati as saying.

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Iran, one of the countries in the Middle East hit hardest by the novel coronavirus, has begun easing restrictions on normal life in order to keep afloat its economy, already battered by U.S. sanctions. Health officials have repeatedly warned,

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