Prisoners riot in Iran, Netanyahu isolates

Israel, meanwhile, announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would enter self-isolation after an aide tested positive for the virus.

His office said the 70-year-old leader had undergone a test and would remain in isolated until he received results or was cleared by the health ministry and his personal doctor. His close advisers are also isolating.

In a televised address, Netanyahu called on Israelis to remain at home and avoid family gatherings during the holiday season. The Jewish holiday of Passover, the Christian holiday of Easter and the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan fall in April.

Netanyahu said the government would discuss possible further restrictions on gatherings of more than two people, a ban on public worship and an 80 billion shekel ($A36 billion) economic rescue plan.

More than 4600 Israelis have been infected and 16 have died.

Iran had temporarily released about 100,000 prisoners as part of measures taken to contain the pandemic, leaving an estimated 50,000 people behind bars, including violent offenders and “security cases”, often dual nationals and others with Western ties.

Read the article by Amir Vahdat and Aron Heller in The Canberra Times.