Iran’s coronavirus death toll passes 30,000

Iran has been struggling with the coronavirus since announcing its first cases in February. (AP)
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Updated 17 October 2020

Iran’s coronavirus death toll passes 30,000

  • Iran has been struggling with the coronavirus since announcing its first cases in February

TEHRAN: Iran has announced that its death toll from the coronavirus has passed the milestone of 30,000 killed.
The announcement Saturday by Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari saw Iran put its total death toll from the outbreak at 30,123 killed, with a total of 526,490 confirmed cases.
Iran has been struggling with the coronavirus since announcing its first cases in February.


Bethlehem lights up Christmas tree as virus rules keep crowds away

Updated 05 December 2020

Bethlehem lights up Christmas tree as virus rules keep crowds away

  • Locals and pilgrims traditionally gather each year for the lighting of the tree in Manger Square
  • But this year, only a small crowd of journalists was present due to coronavirus restrictions

BETHLEHEM: Bethlehem lit up its Christmas tree on Saturday evening but without the usual crowds, as novel coronavirus restrictions put a damper on the start of Christmas festivities in the holy city.
Palestinian authorities last week announced measures, including a night-time curfew, across the Israeli-occupied West Bank for 14 days to fight a “worrying spread” of the virus.
Locals and pilgrims traditionally gather each year for the lighting of the tree in Manger Square, near the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was born.
But this year, only a small crowd of journalists was present due to coronavirus restrictions, an AFP photographer said.
Carmen Ghattas, director of public relations at the Bethlehem municipality, told AFP that Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh had lit up the tree remotely from his office in Ramallah.
The West Bank, with a Palestinian population of more than 2.8 million, has officially recorded 71,703 coronavirus infections, including 678 deaths.
Israel has occupied the territory since 1967.