Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, is the latest high-profile government official to test positive for novel coronavirus.
Here's a look at other high-profile cases:
- Two members of parliament, including the chair of the parliamentary committee for national security, have also been infected by the virus.
- One of the country’s top clerics, Hadi Khosroshahi, died on Thursday after he contracted the sickness.
- Deputy Health Minister Iran Haririchi announced on social media Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 — just 24 hours after he tried to downplay the threat of the virus in a press briefing.
Ebtekar, one of Iran’s most high-profile female politicians, was last seen at a cabinet meeting Wednesday with President Hassan Rouhani. During the meeting, Rouhani warned about COVID-19 turning into a “weapon at the hands of our enemies” for “propaganda” purposes.
Iran has emerged as a regional breeding ground for the pathogen, with the most confirmed cases — 245 cases including 26 deaths — in the region. The vast majority of coronavirus cases across the Middle East have been linked to Iran.