March 7, 2020 12:29 pm

Iranian Lawmaker Dies of Novel Coronavirus

Fatemeh Rahbar - File Pic

TEHRAN - An Iranian lawmaker died from the novel coronavirus on Saturday, state news agency IRNA reported, one of several officials to succumb to the illness in the epidemic-hit country.

Fatemeh Rahbar, 55, was a conservative MP and had recently been elected to the parliament from the capital Tehran, the agency said.

She is the second lawmaker killed by the virus in Iran and one of seven politicians and government officials who have died in the outbreak since the country reported its first cases in mid-February.

Iran has been scrambling to contain the rapid spread of the virus, which so far has infected 4,747 people and killed at least 124.

Rahbar was among the top candidates in Tehran for the conservatives, who overwhelmingly won February's general election marked by the lowest turnout in the Islamic republic's history.

Iran has closed schools and universities, suspended major cultural and sporting events and reduced working hours across the country to slow the contagion, which has spread to all of its 31 provinces. (AFP)

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