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Coronavirus: Iran’s Top Officials Test Positive for Virus

Image source: ISNA

Iran’s deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi and a lawmaker have both tested positive for the new coronavirus, as the country struggles to contain an outbreak that has killed 15.

Iran is one of three hot-spots outside China causing concern that the virus could be becoming a pandemic.

On February 24, Iraj Harirchi denied covering up the scale of the outbreak. He appeared in physical discomfort as he spoke to reporters.

Meanwhile, Tehran lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi has also been infected.

Iran has reported 95 cases, but the actual number is thought to be higher.

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According to the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), the sudden increase in cases in countries outside China is “deeply concerning”.

On February 25, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington was concerned that Iran may have concealed “vital details” about its outbreak and urged all nations to “tell the truth about the coronavirus”.

More people have died in Iran from the new coronavirus than anywhere else outside China. Iran and China have strong trading links.

The other countries currently in the spotlight are Italy and South Korea, where cases have surged in recent days.