Iran has diagnosed 24,811 coronavirus cases - a record increase of 1,762 in a day

Tehran - 

A senior Iranian official on Tuesday (March 24) ruled out “foreign” help on the ground to deal with the coronavirus epidemic after an offer from a France-based medical charity, as the country’s death toll from the illness neared 2,000.

“Due to Iran’s national mobilisation against the virus and the full use of the medical capacity of the armed forces, it is not necessary for now for hospital beds to be set up by foreign forces, and their presence is ruled out,” Alireza Vahabzadeh, adviser to Iran’s health minister, said on Twitter.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) had said on Sunday that it planned to send a nine-member team and equipment to set up a 50-bed hospital, stirring opposition from ultra-conservative circles in the Islamic republic who charged that MSF staff would serve as “spies”.

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