Health, Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

More than 5.5M protective masks seized in Iran

Police seizes masks stocked by black marketeers in Iran’s capital, says Tehran's security director

Ahmet Dursun and Bilal Guler   | 25.02.2020
More than 5.5M protective masks seized in Iran


Iranian police seized more than 5.5 million protective masks hoarded by black marketeers in Tehran in recent days, according to the country’s IRNA news agency.

The head of Tehran security department, Huseyin Rahimi, said some of the masks do not comply with the health regulations, reported IRNA.

“Seized masks will be sent to medical faculties to be distributed to the public,” Rahimi said.

He said as Iran struggles with the new type of coronavirus, dozens of warehouses have been inspected this week.

Three suspects -- who allegedly engaged in illegal mask production -- were arrested, while three factories producing masks in unhealthy conditions were shut down, he added.

Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi announced Tuesday he tested positive for the virus.

The Middle East country reported 15 deaths from the virus, with 95 confirmed cases so far.

Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has sounded global alarms, with China, the country where it was first detected, reporting 2,663 deaths from the outbreak, as health experts search for a cure.

Outside mainland China, the coronavirus has spread to more than 30 other countries including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain, and India.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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