Coronavirus kills two in Iran

First detected in China, the virus is believed to have originated in a type of wild animal sold at a Chinese market to be consumed as food. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 19 February 2020

Coronavirus kills two in Iran

  • Authorities did not say how many people were suspected of having the virus
  • The two confirmed cases were detected in the central province of Qom

TEHRAN: Two people have died in Iran after testing positive on Wednesday for the new coronavirus, the health ministry said, in the Islamic republic's first cases of the disease.
They are also the first deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle East and only the seventh and eighth outside China where the outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people.
State news agency IRNA quoted Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, as saying the virus was detected in two elderly people with immunity problems in the city of Qom, south of the Iranian capital.
"Following the recent cases of chronic respiratory diseases in Qom, two of the patients tested positive in preliminary tests," it quoted him as saying.
"Unfortunately both passed away in the intensive care unit due to old age and issues with their immune system."
The state news agency had earlier quoted Jahanpour as saying that the "new coronavirus" had been confirmed in two people and that other suspected cases were isolated.
IRNA also quoted a media adviser to Iran's health minister as saying two people had died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
"Both of the people who had tested positive for coronavirus were in Qom and were old. Both have passed away," said Alireza Vahabzadeh.


Jordan releases travelers quarantined at Dead Sea hotels

Updated 6 min 48 sec ago

Jordan releases travelers quarantined at Dead Sea hotels

  • More than 4,200 Jordanians and 1,500 foreigners have been held at the hotels
  • Jordan has reported 259 infections and three deaths from the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus

AMMAN, Jordan: Jordan on Monday began releasing releasing thousands of travelers who were quarantined for the last two weeks at five-star hotels on the Dead Sea in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
More than 4,200 Jordanians and 1,500 foreigners have been held at the hotels. The Jordanians will be sent home via Uber, the popular ride-hailing service, and are requested to remain at home for another 14 days.
Travelers with other nationalities will be released on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear where they would go, but authorities said they would be in contact with their embassies and the Foreign Ministry.
Jordan has reported 259 infections and three deaths from the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus. At least 18 people have recovered.
The virus causes mild symptoms, including fever and cough, in most patients, who recover within a few weeks. But it is highly contagious and can be spread by people showing no symptoms. It can also cause severe illness and death, particularly in older patients or those with underlying health problems.
The virus has infected more than 720,000 people worldwide, causing more than 34,000 deaths, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. More than 150,000 have recovered.
Jordan halted all flights and closed its borders on March 16. It later imposed a round-the-clock curfew for three days, before providing limited times for people to shop for basic goods on foot.

Related