Iran said Friday the new coronavirus had killed 124 people in the country, which had at least 4,747 confirmed cases, as authorities warned they may use “force” to limit travel between cities.
Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour offered the figures in a televised news conference, but did not elaborate on the threat to use force.
He acknowledged the virus was now in all of Iran’s 31 provinces, and the threat may be to stop people from using the closed schools and universities as an excuse to go to the Caspian Sea and other Iranian vacation spots.
Semiofficial news agencies in Iran posted images of long lines of traffic as people tried to reach the Caspian coast from Tehran Friday, despite authorities earlier telling people to remain in their cities.
Iran said Thursday it would put checkpoints in place to limit travel between major cities, hoping to stem the spread of the virus.