A member of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s advisory council died of coronavirus on Monday, Iranian state radio reported.
Iranian Expediency Council member Mohammad Mirmohammadi is the first top official to die of the virus in the Islamic Republic, which has reported 1,501 confirmed cases and 66 deaths to date, according to an AP report.
Mirmohammadi’s mother also died from the virus, while other top Iranian officials, including Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar and Iraj Harirchi, the head of an Iranian government task force on the coronavirus, have been infected.
Iran has reported the highest number of deaths from coronavirus after China, where the virus first emerged. The case fatality rate of the virus in Iran is around 4.4 percent, much higher than in other countries, and experts say the number of infections in Iran is likely much higher than the current figures indicate, the report said.
Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Raisi, who announced the new figures on Monday, said Iran’s army and the Basij volunteer branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are ready to mobilize 300,000 soldiers to combat the virus. They have already been spraying disinfectant on the streets in major cities, the report noted.