The Novel Coronavirus has killed 66 people in Iran and over 1,500 have been infected. While several high-ranking officials, including a vice minister, deputy health minister and five lawmakers, have tested positive for COVID-19, reports revealed that a top-ranked Iranian official has died on Monday, as the Middle East country continues to record higher death toll than anywhere outside of China.
The deceased, Seyed Mohammad Mir-Mohammadi, aged 71, was a close adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and had been a member of Iran's Expediency Discernment Council since 2007. He died in Tehran hospital on Monday.
Coronavirus outbreak in Iran
As per the reports, the Health ministry spokesperson, Alireza Raisi confirmed that "The definite latest numbers we have are 523 new infections and 12 new deaths so the total number of those infected until now is 1501 and the number of deaths is 66."
Local media reported that one lawmaker, who was elected in Iran's February 21 polls has died of the new Coronavirus. Health Minister of Iran, Saeed Namaki warned on Friday, February 28 of "a very difficult" week ahead in the country, which announced its first infections and deaths due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak on February 19.
Shocking videos appeared on social media
A recently posted video is going viral on social media platform Twitter which showed a man in Iran lying on the road. It is claimed by the Twitter users that the man, who was wearing a mask, was infected by COVID-19 and collapsed in the middle of the street. The video also showed some people around the unidentified man.
A Twitter user, Farhang F Namdar, a student at the University of Slemani shared the video of the incident and wrote that "A corona patient has fallen in a public street with many poeple passing by. The virus is spreading very rapidly in Iran and precautionary measures are not taken."
Another user mentioned in a separate Tweet that "Iran now looks like China, people collapsing in the streets. #coronavirus."
Another footage shared by Namdar showed a COVID-19 patient collapsed in the streets of Sanandaj in Western Iran and a medical team arrived to help the man.
A sperate video was shared on twitter, by an Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad that featured a man wearing a mask. The Tweet revealed that the man in the video is actually a nurse at the Kamkar Hospital of Qom who said that during his night shift, he witnessed eight deaths. In the Tweet, Alinejad also mentioned that "Iran's officials are trying to cover up Corona deaths by lying and underreporting them."
There are some videos which also showed that Iranian men licking the bars of a holy shrine just to prove that they are not afraid of the deadly outbreak.
In another video, a sick man can be seen along with four men, who were trying to get the unconscious man on a stretcher.
A separate video also showed the empty Iran international airport as people are trying to be at home instead of travelling during this alarming situation.
A few videos shared on social media also showed that Iranian authority is using water canon to clean the streets, while workers disinfected the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus.