The coronavirus outbreak in Iran has cost 26 lives, confirmed Thursday by the health ministry, and with a vice president becoming the latest top official to be infected as the spread seemed to escalate.
A spokesman for the health ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, told a news conference that the infection count had risen to 245, with 106 more cases reported — the highest number for a single day since Iran declared its first infections on February 19.
Excluding China, where COVID-19 first appeared, the Islamic republic has the highest death toll. One of Iran’s seven vice presidents, Massoumeh Ebtekar, who governs women’s affairs, is among the new sufferers from coronavirus.
Ebtekar, a former student spokeswoman who took 52 Americans hostage at Tehran’s US embassy in 1979, is now being treated at home and her team members have been tested reports official news agency IRNA.