23 Members of the Iranian Parliament have been confirmed to have coronavirus, in the latest outbreak of the disease in the Islamic Republic.
At the last count, the Iranian government has announced a death toll of 77 and a total confirmed cases of 2,336, victims, 835 more than the previous total.
Experts have expressed fears that the country’s high ratio of deaths to infections – about 3.3% – may mean the actual infection figure is far greater.
It is suspected that the 23 lawmakers out of the 290-member chamber, may have been infected due to their contact with their constituents across the country, which has reported the highest number of cases outside China where the virus originated in December 2019.
Deputy speaker of Iran’s parliament, Reza Misri, confirmed that his colleagues tested positive for the deadly disease on Iranian state television’s Young Journalists Club program.
His words: “As of now, 23 members of parliament were tested positive. These people have a close relationship with the people and they carry different viruses from different parts of the country, which may create a new virus, so we recommend the lawmakers to cut off their relationship with the public for now.”
Some of those already infected in that country include, Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice president for women and family affairs and a spokeswoman for the 1979 hostage-takers, and Iraj Harirchi, the deputy health minister tasked with managing Iran’s response to the outbreak
The head of Iran’s emergency medical services, Pir-Hossein Kolivand has also been infected with the virus, according to ILNA news agency.