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Coronavirus : Iran Mobilises 300,000 Soldiers, Volunteers As 23 MPs infected

Reports say that the Islamic Republic of Iran is set to mobilise 300,000 soldiers and volunteers as no fewer than 23 parliamentarians were feared infected by a coronavirus.

Reza Misri, deputy speaker of Iran’s parliament, says 23 of his colleagues have tested positive for coronavirus.

According to UK Guardian, Misri  disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

“As of now, 23 members of parliament were tested positive. These people have a close relationship with the people, and they carry different viruses from different parts of the country, which may create a new virus, so we recommend the lawmakers to cut off their relationship with the public for now,” he said.

He said this after the lower legislative chamber in Nigeria’s national assembly announced the postponement of plenary for two weeks over coronavirus.

Misri’s statement comes four days after the BBC quoted sources as saying Iranian authorities were not honest with updates on the virus.

People have their temperature checked and their hands disinfected at a shopping centre in Tehran, Iran. Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP

As of then, Iran had declared 34 deaths from the virus but BBC quoted sources as disputing the figure, saying not less than 210 people infected with coronavirus disease had died.

Among those infected are Iran’s vice-president for women and family affairs, its deputy health minister, and at least two members of parliament.

Alireza Raeisi, Iran’s deputy health minister, had said since the outbreak of the disease in the country, about 2, 336 people have been infected with the virus, including 835 new cases.

He said 11 more people have died of coronavirus and that it is mobilizing its armed forces to combat the virus.

The country has lost two of its top officials to the disease.

On Monday, Seyed Mohammad Mir-Mohammadi, a member of the expediency discernment council that advises Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, died of the disease.

Mohammad Ali Dastak, a newly elected member of Iranian parliament, also died of coronavirus.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran vice-president for women and affairs, had also recently contracted the virus.

The country’s authorities say they have plans to “potentially mobilise 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to confront the virus”.

The Islamic republic canceled regular Friday prayers to avoid an epidemic and it asked citizens to avoid travel within the country in order to curtail the spread of the virus.

It also banned Chinese citizens from entering the country.

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