February 27, 2020 - 16:20 AMT
Iran: Lawmaker contracts coronavirus; death toll rises to 26

The coronavirus epidemic in Iran has cost 26 lives, the health ministry announced Thursday, February 27, with seven new deaths reported over 24 hours as the spread appeared to accelerate, International Business Times reports.

Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour also told a press briefing that 106 more cases of the disease had been confirmed, raising the tally of infections to 245.

The additional cases made up the highest number for a single day since Iran announced its first cases on February 19.

Among the latest sufferers of the new coronavirus is Mojtaba Zolnour, head of parliament's national security and foreign affairs committee, who appeared in a video posted by Fars news agency saying he was in self-quarantine.

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.

Photo. Reuters