FILE PHOTO: Iranian People wearing protective masks as they board a bus in Tehran, Iran REUTERS./

DUBAI, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Iran has banned the entry of travelers from South Africa and five neighbouring countries after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant in the region, a top Iranian epidemiology official said on Friday.

Iranians arriving from the region will be admitted after testing negative twice for COVID, Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, head of Iran’s Center for Disease Control, was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.

Iran on Friday reported 86 deaths from COVID-19 as the total number of fatalities reached 129,462 in the worst-hit country in the Middle East.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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