Iran: Hotel business hit hard by coronavirus outbreak

A vast majority of hotels in Qom, a holy city of Iran, have closed in the wake of rising cases of the coronavirus.

Ahmed Fellahiyan, head of Qom Hotels and Hostels Association, told Iranian Students News Agency: “There are no tourists left in Qom due to coronavirus. Reservations are all cancelled. Only 30% of hotels are working now.”

Fellahiyan added that wedding venues and restaurants serving tourists are also closed.

Separately, Mohammed Reza Qadir, the dean of Qom Medical Faculty, said he tested positive for the coronavirus, in a video message on social media.

Kadir is the son-in-law of Ayatollah Javadi Amuli, one of Iran’s prominent religious figures.

Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said the death toll from the coronavirus has reached 15, with 95 confirmed cases.

In China, the epicenter of the virus, the death toll from the outbreak reached 2,663 Tuesday, with more than 77,600 confirmed cases.

The coronavirus has spread to more than 25 other countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

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