The coronavirus epidemic in Iran has cost 26 lives, the health ministry announced Thursday, with a vice president becoming the latest top official to be infected as the spread appeared to accelerate.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference that the tally of infections had risen to 245 with 106 more cases confirmed — the highest number for a single day since Iran announced its first infections on February 19.
The Islamic republic has the highest death toll from the virus outside China, where COVID-19 first emerged.
Among the latest coronavirus sufferers is one of Iran’s seven vice presidents, Massoumeh Ebtekar, who oversees women’s affairs.
Ebtekar, a former spokeswoman for students who took 52 Americans hostage at the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, is being treated at home and members of her team have been tested, state news agency IRNA reported.
Mojtaba Zolnour, head of parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee, also contracted the virus, appearing in a video posted by Fars news agency saying he was in self-quarantine.
The cleric is a deputy for the Shiite holy city of Qom in central Iran where the country’s first cases were detected.
According to media reports, among the deceased in Qom on Thursday was theologian Hadi Khroroshahi, who in 1981 was named Iran’s first ambassador to the Vatican.
The announcement by Zolnour comes two days after another top official, deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi, head of the government’s coronavirus task force, said he too had contracted the virus.
– Must ‘not gather’ –
On Wednesday, Iranian authorities announced domestic travel restrictions for people with confirmed or suspected infections.
They also placed curbs on access to major Shiite pilgrimage sites, including the Imam Reza shrine in second city Mashhad and the Fatima Masumeh shrine in Qom.
Visitors to the shrines will be allowed to visit on condition they are provided “with hand-washing liquids, proper (health) information, masks”, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said.
They must “not gather together in groups but just pray and leave”, he said.
In a rare move, authorities announced the cancellation of the main Friday weekly prayers in Tehran, Qom and Mashhad as well as in the capitals of 22 of Iran’s 31 provinces and other infected areas.
School closures have been extended in affected areas and universities are to remain closed for another week starting from Saturday.
“All of these decisions are temporary and if the situation changes, we might intensify or ease them,” Namaki said.
In a message of thanks to doctors and nurses, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he hoped their efforts would help “eradicate this sinister virus soon”.
International health experts have expressed concern about Iran’s handling of the outbreak. But Tehran insists the situation has been “improving”.
How Pastor Adeboye Son, Leke Adeboye Reacted After Loosing His Brother In Death
How Pastor Adeboye Son, Leke Adeboye Reacted After Loosing His Brother In Death—The Genius Media Nigeria reports that One of the sons of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Leke Adeboye, has reacted to the death of his brother, Pastor Dare Adeboye.
This reliable platform had earlier reported that Pastor Dare died at age forty-two without prior symptoms of sickness and was never on medication.
Dare who pastored one of the RCCG branches in Abuja was said to have officiated on Sunday and retired to his bed after church. He reportedly warned that he should not be disturbed during his rest.
According to the report, his wife, Temiloluwa Adeboye, noticed her husband’s unusual sleeping hours and could not reach him on phone. She reportedly raised the alarm and he was discovered dead.
Leke Adeboye in his reaction on his Facebook account posted a scripture from the bible on the death of the righteous.
He posted, “The righteous man perishes(at the hand of evil), and no one takes it to heart, Faithful and devout men are taken away, while no one understands. That the righteous person is taken away(to be spared) from evil and disaster.
Meanwhile, no official statement has been released by the family as of the time of filing this report.
Meet 80-Year Old Grandma And Grand-Daughter Arrested By NDLEA With 192KG Cocaine
Meet 80-Year Old Grandma And Grand-Daughter Arrested By NDLEA With 192KG Cocaine—-The Genius Media Nigeria reports that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested an 80-year-old woman, Mrs Mary Adebayo, alongside her 19-year-old grand daughter, Funmilola Adebayo, with 192 kg of assorted drugs in Akure, Ondo state.
NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Babafemi said that two other ladies were also arrested along side the duo for selling assorted illicit drugs that included cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, tramadol, swinol and skuchies.
He said that the arrest came after intelligence-based raids and follow up operations on their locations on Sunday, May 2, 2021.
The NDLEA director added that the 192 kgs of cocaine and other psychotropic substances were recovered from the suspects, as they were arrested at 6:30am, on Sunday, at Ayeyemi Street, Akure South Local Government Area.
“During the early morning raid, the following were recovered from them: Skuchies – 149kg, cocaine – 11gm, methamphetamine 17gm, heroin – 3 gm, cannabis sativa – 4.914kg, swinol – 8gm and tramadol – 49 gm. “Also recovered from them were two deep freezers and a TVS motorcycle
“On the same date, at about 1:30pm, a raid carried out at Rate Hotel, Care Street, in Akure South LGA, also led to the arrest of 25-year-old Tessy Mathew, from whom 33 kgs of skuchies were recovered,’’ he said.
According to him, following preliminary interrogation of Mathew, a follow up operation was immediately launched leading to the arrest of another 25-year-old, Blessing Adesida, in Oshinle area of the LGA, from whom 3kg of skuchies and 7gms of cannabis were recovered.
Babafemi quoted the acting NDLEA commander, Callys Alumona, as saying that other members of the two drug gangs had been on a watch list and efforts to arrest them were ongoing.
Fani kayode Sing Praises Of FG And Nigerian Army
Fani kayode Sing Praises Of FG And Nigerian Army—A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has commended the trio of Kaduna State Govt., the FG & the @HQNigerianArmy for the rescue of 13 kidnapped persons from evil & barbaric terrorists in Gwagwada, Chikun LGA of Kaduna.
I commend the Kaduna State Govt., the FG & the @HQNigerianArmy for the rescue of 13 kidnapped persons from evil & barbaric terrorists in Gwagwada, Chikun LGA of Kaduna state earlier today after a fierce gun battle.
Way to go! More of this! I am proud of being a Nigerian again.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) May 5, 2021
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