Coronavirus: Iran’s deputy health minister tests positive as outbreak worsens

Iraj Harirchi was sweating profusely at a news conference before testing positive for coronavirus disease

(BBC News) – Iran’s deputy health minister and an MP have both tested positive for the new coronavirus, as it struggles to contain an outbreak that has killed 16.

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

The deputy minister, Iraj Harirchi, had on Monday denied covering up the scale of the outbreak. He appeared to be in discomfort as he spoke to reporters.

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

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the sudden increase in cases in the country is “deeply concerning”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday 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”.

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About Cholo Brooks 11575 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.