February 25, 2020
Flag of Iran
The Coronavirus epidemic affecting Iran has spread even to the government as Iranian Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has announced that he has tested positive for the disease. In addition, Iranian MP Mahmud Sadagi also announced that he had contracted the Coronavirus.
In a self-published video, Deputy Health Minister Harirchi said he had contracted the virus. Iranian media reported that the infection occurred after he was apparently exposed to direct contact with local citizens who were hospitalized on suspicion of being infected with the Coronavirus.
Following the infection, Harirchi was found in solitary confinement at Tehran Hospital. The suspicion that he was infected with the Coronavirus came up after Harirchi convened a press conference in Tehran on Monday with a spokesman for the Iranian government, during which he looked sweaty and coughed for a long time.
Subsequently, it was speculated that the Deputy Minister of Health had become infected with the deadly virus, and the results of the tests confirmed this. Incidentally, during the press conference, Harirchi rejected the claim that 50 people died in the city of Qom in Iran as a result of the Corona virus. "If the number of victims from Corona in the city of Qom is even a quarter of the number reported by the media, I will resign. The number is incorrect, and we are confident in our statistics," Harirchi said.
Following the spread of the virus in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani called on local citizens "not to panic. We will overcome the virus safely." Several global media outlets have in recent days estimated that the number of victims of the Coronavirus in Iran is much higher than advertised, as the Iranian government and state media in Iran hide the real information from the public.