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Iran deputy health minister has coronavirus: Adviser

Iran calls for more regional cooperation to combat Virus

Iran confirmed cases rises to 95

Iran's deputy health minister has been infected with the new coronavirus, a ministry official has said, amid a major outbreak in the Islamic republic.

"The coronavirus test for Mr Harirchi, the deputy health minister who was on the front lines combating the coronavirus, was positive," Alireza Vahabzadeh, a media adviser to the health minister, said in a tweet.

Iraj Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared to be sweating during a press conference on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei. The semi-official ILNA news agency also reported Harirchi had contracted the virus.

The virus that originated in Wuhan, a city in China has now infected more than 80,000 globally, killing at least 2,700.

Reacting to the wild spread of the novel coronavirus, Iranian foreign minister Muhammad Javad Zarif calls for more regional cooperation including Joint Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

Zarif said like other virus including terrorism, coronavirus knows no borders and doesn't distinguish between ethnicities or faiths.

@JZarif
Like other viruses - incl terrorism - #COVID19 knows no borders and doesn't distinguish between ethnicities or faiths. To combat it, neither should we. In line with #HOPE, Iran calls for more regional cooperation incl long overdue Joint Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

Apart from the reported cases of health officers in China and Japan that have been infected by the novel virus, Iranian deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi is the first top government and political high ranking officer to contact the deadly virus so far.

Iran confirmed cases rises to 95

Iranian health officials said the number of confirmed cases in the country has risen to 95, with 15 confirmed deaths.

"It will be safer for people to stay at home. There were 34 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, including 16 people in Qom city," Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told state TV.

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