Covid-19: Iran’s first 2 patients die of virus

Both patients are also the Middle East's first two fatalities.

Matthias Ang | February 20, 02:17 pm


Iran’s first two cases of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) have died in the country’s city of Qom, Aljazeera reported.

On Feb. 19, a spokesperson for Iran’s Health Ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, stated that they had tested positive for Covid-19 and died due to old age and deficient immune systems, while being treated at a hospital.

He added that both of them had suffered “acute lung infections” as a result of Covid-19.

No immediate information was provided for their gender and exact age.

Did not travel outside Iran

The BBC reported that both cases had not travelled outside of Iran, let alone Qom province, prior to their deaths.

Meanwhile, 25 people have also been quarantined at the same hospital as suspected cases of Covid-19.

The deaths marks the first fatalities of the virus in the Middle East.

Other countries with confirmed cases in the region are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.

The UAE has nine cases, all of whom are Chinese citizens, while Egypt has one, involving an unspecified foreign national.

Iran urges people to avoid shaking hands and kissing

In the meantime, Iran’s deputy health minister, Qasem Jan-Babaei, urged Iranians to avoid shaking hands and kissing, Aljazeera highlighted.

As per Babaei:

“We urge people to avoid shaking hands and kissing, to observe personal hygiene and preferably avoid crowded places.”

He also added that there was no reason to panic due to the low mortality rate of the virus.

With regard to measures against the disease, Babaei highlighted that emergency units for treating contagious diseases were being established in Qom.

He also raised the possibility that the virus might arise in other cities even though no reports of cases had surfaced so far.

Top image by Anmede via Flickr


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