TEHRAN: Deputy health minister of Iran confirmed on Tuesday that he has tested positive for the new coronavirus, amid a major outbreak in the Islamic republic of Iran.
According to the sources of Arab News, Iraj Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared to be sweating during a press conference in Tehran on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei.
At the time he denied a lawmaker’s claim that 50 people had died from the virus in the Shiite shrine city of Qom, saying he would resign if the number proved to be true.
No definitive # from Iran but hundreds suspected, a lawmaker put deaths at 50. Harichi got quarantined: pic.twitter.com/YZm9QdWvbI
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) February 25, 2020
In a video broadcast on state television, the deputy minister put on a brave face as he admitted he was infected.
“I too have been infected with coronavirus,” Harirchi said in the video apparently shot by himself. “I had a fever as of last night and my preliminary test was positive around midnight,” he said.
An Iranian parliamentarian representing Tehran has also tested positive.
“My corona test is positive … I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world,” Mahmoud Sadeghi wrote on Twitter.
تست کرونای من مثبت شد. این پیام را در شرایطی میدهم که چندان امیدی به ادامهی حیات در این دنیا را ندارم:
خانوادههای زندانیان امنیتی و سیاسی تقاضا دارند برای جلوگیری از شیوع بیماری به زندانیان امنیتی و سیاسی مرخصی بدهید تا کنار خانوادهها این اپیدمی را پشت سر بگذارند.
— محمود صادقی (@mah_sadeghi) February 25, 2020
Earlier on Sunday, Pakistan closed Pak-Iran borders with Iran following a spike in novel coronavirus cases in the country.
According to the details, Pakistan on Sunday announced that it would as a precautionary measure “temporarily” close Taftan border with Iran as an alarm grows over a spike in new coronavirus infections, with the government gearing up measures to keep coronavirus at bay.
Tehran has confirmed eight deaths from the novel coronavirus on Sunday, the highest toll of any country outside China, with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accusing foreign media of trying to use the outbreak to sabotage the polls.