Iran's vice-president diagnosed with coronavirus

Iran's vice-president diagnosed with coronavirus

Iran's vice-president has been diagnosed with coronavirus, according to state media, The Independent reports.

This comes just a day after the country's health minister confirmed he had tested positive for the Covid-19 respiratory disease.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice-president for women and family affairs, is now one of the reported 254 people infected with the virus in the country. Twenty-six people have been killed as a result of the outbreak in Iran.

Ebtekar is known worldwide as the English-language spokeswoman for the Iranian students who stormed the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979, taking over 60 American nationals hostage.

Check out this news report into the outbreak that has been dominating the headlines over the last few weeks:

Cases of the virus in Iran have shot up by 106 over the last 24 hours, according to a statement made by the middle eastern nation's health ministry on Thursday.

The swift spread of the disease has led to Iranian authorities canceling Friday prayers in Tehran.

Per The Independent, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said there were also plans to set restrictions in place at some holy Muslim sites but the plan "needs the approval of the president before being carried out".

Credit: PA

It has also been reported that in an address to citizens on state TV, Jahanpur told Iranians to avoid "unnecessary trips inside the country".

More than 80,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported around the world since it emerged at the end of 2019. Approximately 2,700 people have died from the illness, the vast majority of whom are from China, the BBC reports.

After China, Iran has experienced the second-highest death toll in relation to coronavirus.

According to state news agency IRNA, Chinese citizens have been banned from entering Iran. Such restrictions have also been put in place by a number of other countries including the US, Russia, South Korea, and Australia in order to stop the outbreak in its tracks.