Iran on March 9 granted furlough to eligible inmates as a part of its measures to contain the spread on COVID-19, international media reported citing judiciary chief Hojatoleslam Ebrahim Raeisi. Raeisi while talking to an Iranian news agency revealed that the Iranian courts have released approximately 70,000 prisoners. He also said that all the prisoners with underlying illnesses had been granted leave.
This comes as the number of infected cases surged to 7,161 on March 9. Meanwhile, the deadly virus has reportedly killed over 237 people across the Shiite nation. On March 3, Iran announced that it would release more than 54,000 prisoners in an attempt to prevent the virus spread, an Iranian news agency citing judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili reported.
The head of Iran's Crisis Management Organisation, Esmaeel Najjar, has reportedly contracted the novel coronavirus. According to the news agency ISNA, Najjar was discharged from the hospital and is self-quarantined at his home. Iran already has 6,566 confirmed coronavirus cases and the deadly virus has also claimed more than 190 lives in the country.
There are several Iranian leaders who have also been tested positive of coronavirus. According to reports, the country's deputy health minister was also confirmed to have contracted the virus. The majority of infections in Gulf countries have been linked to visits to Iran or involve people who have come into contact with people who had been there. Iran's capital, Tehran also remains the worst-hit province in the country with over 1,500 confirmed cases.
As per reports, Iran has closed schools and universities until early April in an effort to contain the virus and stop it from spreading. The north and middle of the country have also announced that they will not be providing lodging to any tourists in an effort to dissuade people from travelling. Several countries have restricted travel to Iran and the neighbouring countries have closed its border in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.