54,000 prisoners freed to prevent coronavirus spread...

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54,000 prisoners freed to prevent coronavirus spread

 International Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 12:59 PM, 4 March 2020  

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

The deadly coronavirus - officially known as COVID-19, has rapidly spread globally. So far, 77 people have died in the epidemic in Iran with 2,336 confirmed cases. Under this circumstance, Tehran temporarily released more than 54,000 prisoners in an effort to combat the spread of the new coronavirus disease in crowded jails. 

The inmates were allowed out of prison after testing negative for Covid-19 and posting bail, reported Iranian state-run news outlet - ISNA on Tuesday, citing Iranian Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.

However, prisoners - who were sentenced to more than five years will not be let out, said the Judiciary spokesman.

Meanwhile, British MP Tulip Siddiq said that the jailed British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe may be freed soon. Nazanin Zaghari may be released on furlough today or tomorrow, Tulip said.

A number of senior Iranian officials have contracted the coronavirus. Among the latest is the head of the emergency medical services, Pirhossein Kolivand. Besides, 23 of the 290 members of the Iranian parliament have also tested positive. 

Earlier on Monday, a member of the Expediency Council, which advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, died as a result of Covid-19 in Tehran. According to state media, 71-year-old Mohammad Mirmohammadi had a close relationship with Ayatollah Khamenei.

There have been more than 93,000 reported cases of Covid-19 worldwide and 3,115 deaths since the disease emerged late last year - the vast majority in China.