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3 Mar, 2020 14:05

Head of Iran’s emergency medical services infected with coronavirus in latest high-profile case

Head of Iran’s emergency medical services infected with coronavirus in latest high-profile case

The chief of Iran’s emergency medical services is being treated for coronavirus, state media reported, marking yet another senior Iranian official who has been infected with the deadly illness.

Pir Hossein Kolivand is being treated for the virus and is currently in good health, his office said in a statement, adding that there is “no need for concern.”

Numerous high-level Iranian officials have fallen ill to the virus. Recently, 23 lawmakers have tested positive for the illness in the Islamic Republic. On Monday, Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a member of a council that advises the supreme leader, died after falling sick from the virus. His death follows those of two other high-profile Iranians – a former ambassador and a newly-elected member of Parliament – who succumbed to coronavirus.

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In total, 77 Iranians have died from coronavirus and 2,336 have been infected, Iran’s Health Ministry announced on Tuesday. The country has become one of the major hotspots for the virus outside of China – so much so that Beijing has implemented forced quarantine of all travelers arriving from the Islamic Republic (along with South Korea, Japan, and Italy).

Tehran has accused Washington of retooling the epidemic to spread fear in the country. The Islamic Republic also rebuffed an aid offer from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accusing him of using the health crisis as part of a “political-psychological game.”

Originating in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide – the vast majority in mainland China.

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