The new virus has killed two elderly Iranian citizens, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.The IRNA quoted Alirza Wahabzadeh, adviser to the country’s health minister, as saying the two victims were carrying coronoviruses and were located in Qom, about 140 kilometers (86 mi) south of the capital Tehran. No additional details were released.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian authorities confirmed two cases of the new virus in the country, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. ISNA quoted Kianoush Jahanpour, an official in the country’s health ministry, as saying “for the past two days, some suspected cases of new coronovirus were found.”Authorities later said that both patients had died.
The virus causes the disease that the World Health Organization recently named COVID-19.
The new virus emerged in China in December. Since then, more than 75,000 people have been globally infected, with more than 2,000 deaths, most of them in China.
The new virus causes cold and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath. It can be worsened by pneumonia, which can be fatal.
In the Middle East, nine cases have been confirmed in the United Arab Emirates, among them seven Chinese nationals, one Indian and one Filipino, while the Egyptian Health Ministry confirmed its first case last Friday.Egypt’s Ministry of Health identified its only case as a foreigner carrying a virus but showing no serious symptoms. The ministry said the person was hospitalized and in isolation. It did not specify the nationality or port of entry at the person or his arrival in Egypt.