Coronavirus: 23 Iranian MPs Test Positive

Coronavirus: 23 Iranian MPs Test Positive

Patients in Wuhan, China (image courtesy: AFP)

Deputy Speaker of Iran’s parliament, Reza Misri, says 23 of his colleagues have tested positive for coronavirus.

Misri disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, according to UK Guardian.

“As of now, 23 members of parliament were tested positive. These people have a close relationship with the people and they carry different viruses from different parts of the country, which may create a new virus, so we recommend the lawmakers to cut off their relationship with the public for now,” he said.

Misri’s statement comes four days after the BBC quoted sources as saying Iranian authorities were not honest with updates on the virus.

As of then, Iran had declared 34 deaths from the virus but BBC quoted sources as disputing the figure, saying not less than 210 people infected with coronavirus disease had died.

Among those infected are Iran’s vice-president for women and family affairs, its deputy health minister, and at least two members of parliament.

Alireza Raeisi, Iran’s deputy health minister, had said since the outbreak of the disease in the country, about 2, 336 people have been infected with the virus, including 835 new cases.

He said 11 more people have died of coronavirus and that it is mobilising its armed forces to combat the virus.

The country has lost two of its top officials to the disease.

On Monday, Seyed Mohammad Mir-Mohammadi, a member of the expediency discernment council that advises Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, died of the disease.

Mohammad Ali Dastak, a newly elected member of Iranian parliament, also died of coronavirus.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran vice-president for women and affairs, had also recently contracted the virus.

The country’s authorities say they have plans to “potentially mobilise 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to confront the virus”.

The Islamic republic cancelled regular Friday prayers to avoid an epidemic and it asked citizens to avoid travel within the country in order to curtail the spread of the virus.

It also banned Chinese citizens from entering the country.

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Donatus Anichukwueze is a journalism graduate from the Lagos State University, School of Communication. He's a writer with a special interest in technology, sports, entertainment and politics. He's also a through-and-through Chelsea FC fan.

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