23:10 GMT30 March 2020
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    Iran reported its first cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus on Wednesday, announcing on the same day that two elderly people had died from the infection in the city of Qom.

    Several nations have closed their borders with Iran after eight people died and over 40 were found to be infected with the coronavirus.

    Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Armenia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have imposed temporary bans on people travelling to and from Iran.

    "We have decided to shut the land border temporarily after an increase in the number of cases in our neighbour Iran," Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Sunday.

    Pakistan has closed its land border with Iran, while Afghanistan has suspended all travel to Iran.

    "To prevent the spread of the novel #coronavirus and protect the public, Afghanistan suspends all passenger movement (air and ground) to and from Iran," the office of the National Security Council of Afghanistan said in a statement posted on Twitter.

    Saudi Arabia has said that anyone travelling from Iran must wait for at least 14 days before entering the kingdom to prevent the spread of the virus to the Muslim pilgrimage sites of Mecca and Medina.  

    Armenia has become the latest country to close its border with Iran. According to Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, his country is closing the border for two weeks and suspending air traffic amid growing alarm over a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Iran.

    Workers in protective suits are seen at a checkpoint for registration and body temperature measurement, at an entrance to a residential compound in Wuhan, February 13, 2020
    © REUTERS / China Daily CDIC
    Workers in protective suits are seen at a checkpoint for registration and body temperature measurement, at an entrance to a residential compound in Wuhan, February 13, 2020

    The first cases of COVID-19 infection were reported in Iran on Wednesday, and on the same day, it was announced that two elderly people had died from the virus in the Shiite holy city of Qom.

    The new type of coronavirus was first detected in China's Wuhan in late December and since then has infected more than 77,000 people worldwide, with the death toll in China alone exceeding 2,400 people. 

    Topic:
    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)
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    coronavirus, Armenia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran
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