Coronavirus kills two in Iran

First detected in China, the virus is believed to have originated in a type of wild animal sold at a Chinese market to be consumed as food. (File/AFP)
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Updated 19 February 2020

Coronavirus kills two in Iran

  • Authorities did not say how many people were suspected of having the virus
  • The two confirmed cases were detected in the central province of Qom

TEHRAN: Two people have died in Iran after testing positive on Wednesday for the new coronavirus, the health ministry said, in the Islamic republic's first cases of the disease.
They are also the first deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle East and only the seventh and eighth outside China where the outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people.
State news agency IRNA quoted Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, as saying the virus was detected in two elderly people with immunity problems in the city of Qom, south of the Iranian capital.
"Following the recent cases of chronic respiratory diseases in Qom, two of the patients tested positive in preliminary tests," it quoted him as saying.
"Unfortunately both passed away in the intensive care unit due to old age and issues with their immune system."
The state news agency had earlier quoted Jahanpour as saying that the "new coronavirus" had been confirmed in two people and that other suspected cases were isolated.
IRNA also quoted a media adviser to Iran's health minister as saying two people had died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
"Both of the people who had tested positive for coronavirus were in Qom and were old. Both have passed away," said Alireza Vahabzadeh.


Kuwaiti lawmakers file no-confidence motion against finance minister

Updated 33 min 18 sec ago

Kuwaiti lawmakers file no-confidence motion against finance minister

  • The assembly is set to vote on the motion on Aug. 12
  • At least 25 MPs are needed to oust the minister

DUBAI: Ten Kuwaiti MPs have filed a motion of no confidence in the country’s finance minister over alleged proposals to raise public service fees, national daily Kuwait Times reported.

The lawmakers accused Barrak Al-Sheetan of “overburdening” citizens with additional charges on government services as part of an austerity program.

Al-Sheetan has since denied the charges and clarified the proposals were “merely drafts” and would not be implemented without approval of the National Assembly.

The assembly is set to vote on the motion on Aug. 12. At least 25 MPs are needed to oust the minister.