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Iran's deputy health minister has been diagnosed with the coronavirus

Clusters of the illness have been reported across Iran.

IRAN’S DEPUTY HEALTH minister has been infected with the coronavirus, a ministry official confirmed, amid a major outbreak in the country.

“The coronavirus test for Mr Iraj Harirchi, the deputy health minister who was on the front lines combating the coronavirus, was positive,” Alireza Vahabzadeh, a media adviser to the health minister, said in a tweet.

Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared to be sweating during a press conference yesterday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei.

Clusters of the illness have been reported across Iran and there are concerns the new outbreaks could signal a serious new stage in the global spread of the illness.

Schools were closed for a second day, and daily sanitising of public buses and the Tehran metro, which is used by some three million people a day, was started.

In several countries that reported their first cases yesterday – Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, the infected patients had links with Iran.

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Iraq and Afghanistan closed their borders with Iran in an effort to stop the further spread while Bahrain announced a 48-hour suspension of flights to and from Dubai, the world’s busiest international airport.

With reporting by PA

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