Iran temporarily releases more than 54,000 prisoners to fight coronavirus outbreak

Iran has temporarily released more than 54,000 prisoners to combat coronavirus spreading through packed jails. 

Inmates who have tested negative and posted bail will be released from prison temporarily according to judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmaili.

Prisoners facing sentences of longer than five years will not be let out, reports the BBC.

The COVID-19 outbreak in Iran has killed at least 77 people in less than two weeks.

On Tuesday the Iranian health ministry announced confirmed cases have risen more than 50 percent for the second day in a row, bringing the total to 2336.

Twenty-three members of Iran's 290 strong parliament have also tested positive for the virus.

The World Health Organisation arrived in Iran on Monday to assist with the response. 

It said it would "review readiness and response efforts, visit designated health facilities laboratories and points of entry and provide technical guidance".