TEHRAN: An Iranian lawmaker who tested positive for the novel coronavirus has died, a state-run news agency has reported.
Mohammad Ali Ramazani Dastak, who was recently elected as the representative for Astana Ashrafieh, is reported to have tested positive for the illness a few days ago.
He died on Saturday morning after being taken to hospital with “influenza and chemical injuries” sustained in the Iran-Iraq war, according to the Iranian Students News Agency.
The news comes as a health ministry spokesman said the new coronavirus had killed 43 people along with 593 confirmed cases.
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“Unfortunately nine people died of the virus in the last 24 hours,” Kianush Jahanpur told state TV. “The death toll is 43 now. The new confirmed infected cases since yesterday is 205 that makes the total number of confirmed infected people 593.”
According to BBC News, Iran’s health officials revealed that at least 210 people have died as a result of the illness. The authorities have been accused of a cover-up and the US has expressed concern that they may not be sharing information.
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Jahanpour insisted the government was being transparent and accused international the BBC of spreading lies. He urged people to stay away from mass gatherings such as funerals and limit their travel to avoid spreading the virus.
Iran has the world’s highest death toll outside mainland China, the epicentre of the outbreak.