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The deputy health minister of Iran announced that he has been infected with coronavirus and isolated himself after experiencing a fever. Iraj Harirchi posted the news via a video on his social media. This announcement comes shortly after Harirchi spoke at a press conference in which he downplayed the spread of the virus in Iran and said that mass quarantines were unnecessary.
Surrounding nations such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman recently reported their first new coronavirus cases. All the people who were infected were returning from Iran, according to The Guardian.
A flight departing from Tehran to Istanbul on Tuesday had a total of 17 passengers aboard who were reported to have higher than average temperatures, forcing Turkey to reroute the plane to its capital, Ankara.
This news confirms the wide-spread fears in Iran that coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout parts of the country.
“I wanted to tell you that I got corona,” said Harirchi. “I had a fever yesterday. The tests came back positive last night. I isolated myself. Just a few moments ago, I was told that the final test came. I’ll start taking medicine. Generally, I feel fine. I just felt a bit tired, I had a fever, and it will drop.
“Be sure with the effort of the medical staff and ministry of health headed by the [health minister] and with your support and the state and military within the coming weeks, we’ll be victorious against this virus.
“We’ll defeat corona. Be assured. I’m saying this deep from my heart. This virus is democratic, and it doesn’t distinguish between poor and rich or statesman and an ordinary citizen.
“Many might get infected, but we have enough effective medicine, take care of yourselves. Take care of the nurses and doctors who work heroically.”
The country announced four new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. Iran has been forced to shut down many of their schools and universites in certain major cities while other nations in the Middle East have closed their borders from Iran and shut down pilgramage routes to and from.
Meanwhile, Turkey diverted a plane from Tehran, which had been destined for Istanbul, to its capital Ankara, after 17 passengers were reported to have higher than average temperatures.