A sixth death from the coronavirus has been reported in Iran as authorities in more than a dozen affected provinces ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural centres in a bid to contain the outbreak.
Ali Aghazadeh, governor of the Markazi province, said late on Saturday that tests of a patient who recently died in the central city of Arak were positive for the virus.
The person was also suffering from a heart problem, he told the official IRNA news agency.
So far, 28 cases have been confirmed in Iran, but it was not immediately clear if the sixth fatality was among those cases.
All of those who lost their lives are believed to be Iranian citizens, and the deaths in Iran account for the most in any country outside China.
Since the new coronavirus emerged in December, it has killed 2,345 people in China, the epicentre of the epidemic, and more than a dozen people elsewhere in the world.
Officially known as COVID-19, the infection first surfaced in Iran on Wednesday, when authorities said it claimed the lives of two elderly people in Qom, a Shia holy city south of the capital.
The Ministry of Health said most of the confirmed cases are either "Qom residents or have a history of coming and going from Qom to other cities".
Source: Al Jazeera News
BDST: 1252 HRS, FEB 23, 2020