Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Watch Iran health minister sweat profusely on TV a day before he tested positive for coronavirus

Iran's deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi has tested positive for coronavirus just a day after the government denied a serious outbreak.

Footage emerged shows Harirchi appearing unwell during a press conference on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei.

He is seen repeatedly trying to wipe off the sweats on his forehead in front of the camera.

On the news conference, he had denied claims from a member of parliament that 50 people had died from the virus in the Islamic Republic.

Alireza Vahabzadeh, a media adviser to the health minister, said in a tweet: "The coronavirus test for Mr Harirchi, the deputy health minister who was on the front lines combating the coronavirus, was positive."

Harirchi also spoke about his infection, saying he was infected, but that "I will certainly defeat corona."

According to official numbers released by the health ministry on Tuesday, 15 people have died among 95 confirmed cases in Iran.

The country is one of the worst-hit places outside China where the World Health Organization said the situation in Iran is "deeply concerning".

On Sunday, Iran closed schools and universities across 14 provinces and dedicated 230 hospitals to fight the coronavirus.