Iran coronavirus deaths jump to 26, top officials infected

TEHRAN (HRNW) – The coronavirus epidemic in Iran has cost 26 lives, the health ministry announced Thursday, with a vice president becoming the latest top official to be infected as the spread appeared to accelerate.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference that the tally of infections had risen to 245 with 106 more cases confirmed — the highest number for a single day since Iran announced its first infections on February 19.

The Islamic republic has the highest death toll from the virus outside China, where COVID-19 first emerged.

Among the latest coronavirus sufferers is one of Iran s seven vice presidents, Massoumeh Ebtekar, who oversees women s affairs.

Ebtekar, a former spokeswoman for students who took 52 Americans hostage at the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, is being treated at home and members of her team have been tested, state news agency IRNA reported.

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