Masoumeh Ebtekar: Iran's vice president infected by coronavirus

11:54 PM | 27 Feb, 2020
Masoumeh Ebtekar: Iran's vice president infected by coronavirus
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TEHRAN – Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice president of Iran for Women and Family Affairs, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

"Ms. Ebtekar showed signs of infection with coronavirus and was tested. The results came back positive," her adviser was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

The vice president is also known as the English-language spokeswoman for the 1979 hostage-takers who seized the US embassy in Tehran and sparked the 444-day diplomatic crisis.

Also on Thursday, Mujtaba Zulnur, the head of the Iranian parliament's security and foreign policy committee, said that he had tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Zulnur is a parliamentary member from the Qom province, which has so far featured the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

"Yes, I tested positive for the coronavirus. There is no need to worry, I am put under quarantine. God grant, our people will overcome the coronavirus," Zulnur said in video footage published on the Telegram channel of state TV network IRIB.

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Earlier this week, Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to the health minister said that Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi was confirmed to have been infected. In addition, another lawmaker, Mahmoud Sadeghi also said that he had contracted the disease.

Iran has cancelled Friday prayers in the capital, Tehran, and elsewhere in the country. The move came in response to a drastic jump in the number of confirmed cases from 100 to 245, with 26 deaths.

Iran also banned Chinese citizens from entering the country.

Meanwhile, over 82,000 people worldwide have contracted the disease, of whom 2,800 have died and more than 32,000 have recovered.