Coronavirus: 54,000 prisoners free as virus spreads


Iran will temporarily release 54,000 people from prisons and deploy hundreds of thousands of health workers.

Pressure has been mounting on Iranian officials to take action against the virus as the death toll and number of cases rapidly shoots up.

Iran has reported 92 deaths, as 586 new infections were reported overnight, bringing the total up to 2,922, state media reported.

After weeks of refusing to restrict visits to the sites, the government on Wednesday said that those trying to leave the city would be quarantined if they showed symptoms of the virus, including a fever.

Iranian officials initially reassured its nationals that the virus would be contained, but it was difficult to convince Iranians that was the case as 23 members of parliament tested positive for the virus and an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei died on Monday.

The country’s health ministry will supervise the release of prisoners, according to Iran’s Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili. “The health of the prisoners is very important for us regardless of their status as security prisoners or regular prisoners,” she said.

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