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Coronavirus: Cases jump in Iran and Italy

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Iran has confirmed almost 6,000 coronavirus infections and 145 deaths as the number of cases worldwide passed 100,000, officials say.

A second MP was reportedly among those to have died in Iran, where health officials fear the number of cases may actually be much higher.

Europe's worst hit-country Italy also reported a steep rise in cases.

Leading Italian politician Nicola Zingaretti said on Saturday he had tested positive for the virus.

"I am fine but I will have to stay home for the next few days", the leader of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) said in a Facebook post.

The death toll in Italy has passed 200, with officials reporting more than 50 deaths in 24 hours. The number of confirmed cases rose to 5,883 on Saturday, from 4,636.

The country has said it will start recruiting retired doctors in an effort to combat the escalating outbreak.

There have so far been nearly 3,500 coronavirus deaths recorded worldwide. The majority have been in China, where the virus originated in December.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called the spread of the virus "deeply concerning" and urged all countries to make containment "their highest priority".

In other developments:

What's the latest on cases?

In Iran, 21 people were reported to have died as a result of coronavirus in the past day.

A spokesman for Iran's health ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said in a televised news conference on Saturday that more than 16,000 people were currently being tested in the country.

He added that 1,669 people with the illness had recovered.

The WHO's representative in Iran, Dr Christoph Hamelmann, said Iran was making tremendous progress at its hRead More – Source

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