Iran arrests 320 over ‘provocative’ COVID-19 posts

Anadolu AgencyChief of police says suspects arrested for sharing ‘false and provocative’ social media posts on coronavirus

Iran announced that it arrested at least 320 people for allegedly spreading “false and provocative” information on the novel coronavirus pandemic via social media, according to local reports on Sunday.

“320 people who were sharing false and provocative posts about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media were arrested,” said police chief Hossein Ashtari, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.

Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the outbreak, COVID-19 was first detected in the city of Qom on Feb. 19, then spreading throughout the country.

The coronavirus death toll in Iran rose to 6,589 after 48 more fatalities were confirmed on Saturday, according to state media.

After originating in China last December, the virus has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

More than 4 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll nearly 280,000 and recoveries exceeding 1.38 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.