Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Member of Iran Assembly of Experts die from coronavirus

Several government officials in Iran have been infected with coronavirus

Mustafa Melih Ahishali   | 16.03.2020
Member of Iran Assembly of Experts die from coronavirus

ISTANBUL 

A member of the Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Seyyed Hashem Bat'haee Golpaygani, died from coronavirus, according to local media on Monday.

Bat'haee, 78, lost his life at hospital, where he had been admitted for treatment from COVID-19, the semi-official Tasnim news agency said.

Bat'haee became one of many Iranian officials, who have been infected with disease, including a vice president, dozens of members of parliament, and the deputy health minister.

The Assembly of Experts is a body that supervises and appoints the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Iran is one of the worst-hit countries by coronavirus with 724 deaths and more than 13,900 confirmed infections.

The country has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $5 billion emergency funding to deal with the pandemic. 

Iran reported its first case of coronavirus in Qom province on Feb. 19.

Turkey, which has 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus, closed land borders and suspended air travel to Iran last month. 

As part of its efforts to stem the spread of the virus, Tehran has taken several measures, including the closure of all schools and higher learning institutions, calling off sports events and banning government officials from leaving the country.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 150 countries and territories.

The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 5,746, with more than 153,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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