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Coronavirus death toll in Iran surges to 54, more than 900 affected

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Iran on Sunday confirmed that the coronavirus had caused the deaths of 54 people and as many as 978 people have been affected. Some have expressed fears that the official figures still do not tell the whole picture and the situation may actually be worse on ground. 

Health ministry spokesman, Kianoush Jahanpour, confirmed that new cases of the novel infection had emerged, mostly in Mashhad, which is home to one of the country’s most important shrine. 

According to the new figures by the state, 11 new deaths from the virus have been reported today (Sunday) and 385 more have been affected. 

AFP adds:  Germany´s coronavirus cases almost double to 129

The number of people affected by the coronavirus have swelled to 129 on Sunday, as the interior minister said he expected a vaccine for the novel virus to be ready by the end of the year. 

Germany´s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia has emerged as a hotspot after an infected couple attended carnival celebrations there, infecting dozens of people.

The deadly virus has now reached nine of Germany´s 16 states, with Frankfurt, Hamburg and Bremen among the cities reporting their first COVID-19 cases.

Speaking to the mass-daily Bild am Sonntag, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he did not see a swift end to the virus´s spread but was optimistic a cure could be found.

“I estimate that a vaccine will be available by the end of year,” he said, adding that he himself had stopped shaking people´s hands.

Asked whether Germany would go so far as to close off access to cities or regions, he said “such a scenario would be a last resort”.

In Bavaria, machine tool manufacturer DMG Mori asked some 1,600 employees not to come to work on Monday after a worker contracted the virus.

Several hundred people meanwhile were released from quarantine in the district of Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia, allowing them to leave their homes again.

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