An Iranian MP died of coronavirus infection amid the sharp rise in the number of deaths and confirmed cases in the country. According to a state-run agency, Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Ali Ramazani Dastak, who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus a few days ago, died on February 29 after being taken to hospital.
Iran’s Health Ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpur announced that nine more people died of coronavirus in the past 24 hours taking the death toll to 43. Jahanpur added that 205 new cases have been detected with the total number of coronavirus cases rising to 593.
Jahanpur also denied the international media report of over 210 deaths due to coronavirus amid allegations of a cover-up. Citing unnamed sources in Iran’s healthcare system, BBC Persian had reported that at least 210 people died to the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
The Health ministry spokesperson accused the news channel of joining nation’s regional enemies to spread lies about Iran. “Iran's exemplary transparency in publishing information on the coronavirus has stunned many people," Jahanpur tweeted.
However Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki admitted that the country will have a tough week ahead. “The main peak of the coronavirus will be in next week and the coming days,” warned Namaki.
The novel coronavirus has triggered a fear of pandemic after Middle Eastern and European nations reported death from the virus. According to the latest report, 47 new deaths in China due to coronavirus infections have been confirmed, taking the total death toll because of the deadly virus to over 2,800.
Iran has reported the most number of deaths due to coronavirus after China and Gulf nations including Bahrain and Kuwait also confirmed cases linked to Iran. In a bid to contain the virus, Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended the entry of citizens from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the cities of Mecca and Medina.
(With inputs from agencies)