Iran’s president is extending the temporary release of 85,000 prisoners

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The temporary release of prisoners in Iran will extend to 25 days until April 18, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on state TV Tuesday as the country’s death toll continues to rise.

Last week, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced Iran had temporarily sent home 85,000 prisoners to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Meanwhile, 1.2 million of Iran’s approximately 2.5 million civil servants have not been going to work for the past month amid the coronavirus outbreak, Rouhani said.

He said essential public services would continue and people who work in sectors such as the health sector must continue to go to work.

Iran has confirmed 1,762 new cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases there to 24,811, said Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpoor.

He said there had been 122 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 1,934.

Jahanpoor said that almost half the country’s population has been screened for coronavirus. Around 41 million people have either been tested for the virus or reported symptoms to health professionals.

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