MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani offered his condolences over deaths from the new coronavirus in Iran and offered assistance in curbing the spread of the infection, the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.
"Vladimir Putin offered condolences to Hassan Rouhani over fatalities in the coronavirus infection outbreak in Iran and pledged help aimed at containing the spread of the infection," the statement says.
On February 19, the Iranian health ministry informed about first cases of the newly identified coronavirus. Since then, the country has confirmed 593 cases, while 43 people died from the infection.
In late December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 12 million. The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. Apart from China, more than 50 other countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases. According to the latest reports, China has confirmed over 79,200 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus. The virus’ death toll has hit over 2,800, yet more than 39,000 patients have recovered from the disease.