Iran's deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi and an MP both have tested positive for the new coronavirus, which killed more than 2,700 and over 80,000 cases have been reported worldwide since it emerged late last year. The health minister announced on Tuesday, February 25 that he had tested positive for the COVID-19. Later a video appeared where the health minister confirmed that he tested positive.
During a press conference, which took place on Monday, February 24, Iraj Harirchi stood at the podium to brief the media on the outbreak in Iran. Later, he noticed himself sweating and looked surprised. He grabbed a handkerchief and proceeded to dab at his forehead as the minister for cooperatives, labor and social welfare, Ali Rabiei continued to talk at the press meet.
It should be mentioned that the press conference was called to dismiss the idea that Iran has been lying about the scale of the outbreak in the Middle East country. The officials had rejected all the allegations that the death toll was much higher than reported and urged to downplay the danger of the coronavirus outbreak. As per the Iranian officials, there are 95 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 deaths.
Fars News Agency posted a video, where the health minister clarified that he tested positive for the coronavirus and currently under self-quarantine at his home. In addition, he said, authorities will be successful in reining in the virus.
Coronavirus in Iran
Considering the current status of the coronavirus outbreak, Iran is one of three hot-spots outside China causing concern that the virus could be becoming a pandemic. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the sudden increase in cases in the country is "deeply concerning".
On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State said that Washington was concerned that Iran may have hidden important details about the coronavirus outbreak in the country and urged all nations to "tell the truth about the coronavirus". However, the deputy minister on Monday denied covering up the scale of the outbreak.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that coronavirus is an "uninvited and inauspicious guest." While addressing the nation, he said, "We will get through corona," and added that "We will get through the virus."
Only Iran is the country outside China which has reported maximum coronavirus death cases. South Korea and Italy, both the countries are currently under the spotlight due to the recent cases of coronavirus.