Ayatollah Hashem Bathayi Golpayegani, who was 78, died two days after testing positive for the Corona (COVID-19) disease and being hospitalized, state news agency IRNA reported.
The official represented Tehran in the Assembly of Experts, an 88-strong body of clerics that appoints and monitors Iran’s supreme leader. At least 12 Iranian politicians and officials, both sitting and former, have now died of the illness, and 13 more have been infected and are either in quarantine or being treated.
The Coronavirus also killed a prominent economist and political activist, according to the semi-official news agency ISNA. Fariborz Rais-Dana, 71, succumbed to the illness after being hospitalized for six days, ISNA reported. Fariborz Rais-Dana, 71, succumbed to the illness after being hospitalized for six days, ISNA reported. A prolific writer with a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, he had spent time in prison after being convicted of spreading propaganda against the system.
According to the health ministry, the rising trend is due to the increasing number of tests being carried out. It says many patients started showing symptoms days after they were infected. Official tolls, which are given every 24 hours, have usually lagged behind reports by local media. Sometimes, these also have been contradicted by provincial authorities. Further, Iran is yet to impose a lockdown but it has temporarily closed Parliament, barred pilgrims from gathering at a holy tomb and postponed the second round of legislative elections. Officials have repeatedly urged citizens to stick to guidelines and stay at home to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Along with these, the total number of deaths in Iran has reached to 724. Iran is the third most Corona infected country in the world. Around 14,000 cases have been confirmed. Suspects and unreported are yet to be measured.