Iran president cancels meeting over coronavirus fears

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday cancelled a scheduled government meeting amid fears of contracting coronavirus.

Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency said on Twitter that the cancellation was because the meeting “was hosted by the Iranian Parliament Speaker, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who was reported to have visited the Imam Khomeini Hospital in the capital, Tehran on Monday where he had been in contact with coronavirus patients.”

Hours later, social media platforms were flooded with news of Rouhani having “possibly” contracted the potentially fatal infection.

Iran’s Ministry of Health said on Monday that the alert level had been raised to red as a result deaths rates from the virus rose to record levels. Face masks have been made compulsory indoors and outdoors as a result.

Iran has so far recorded a total of 479,825 cases, making it the worst hit country in the Middle East. It was one of the first countries outside of East Asia to be hit hard by the pandemic early this year. According to official figures, a total of 227 patients died of the illness over the past 24 hours, bringing the total fatalities to 27,419.

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