Coronavirus: Death toll in Iran reaches 66, includes a senior official

“The definite latest numbers we have are 523 new infections and 12 new deaths so the total number of those infected is 1,501 until now and the number of deaths is 66,” Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi reported on state TV.

Among the dead was Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a member of the Expediency Council, a body intended to resolve disputes among parliament and the Guardian Council, the Tasnim news office detailed. Mirmohammadi is likewise an assistant and a close adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several top officials have been infected with coronavirus including Masoumeh Ebtekar, the VP for women and family affairs, and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi.

Government representative Ali Rabiei said that a closure of Iran’s schools which was declared on Saturday because of the outbreak would proceed through the end of this current week, the official IRNA news office revealed.

Iran has the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus outside China, where the outbreak began.

A four-man WHO team is expected to arrive in Iran on Monday evening, representative Tarik Jasarevic said in Geneva, and will review measures to deal with the outbreak and give technical guidance.

During seven days in length visit, the team will meet health ministry representatives and visit health facilities and labs dealing with the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Several nations in the region have reported coronavirus infections in people who have visited Iran. These include Kuwait, whose health ministry on Monday announced 10 new cases over the most recent 24 hours, every one of whom had been in Iran. The Gulf Arab state has now announced 56 cases of the virus.

The United Arab Emirates sent a shipment of medical supplies, including gloves and surgical masks, to Iran on Monday, state news agency WAM reported.