IRAN: Iran’s deputy health minister has tested positive for the new coronavirus amid a major outbreak in the country which has seen 15 people die as a result.
Iraj Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared to be sweating during a news conference in Tehran on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei.
The country is one of three hot-spots outside China causing concern that the virus could be becoming a pandemic.
Iran has reported 95 cases, but the actual number is thought to be higher.
The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the sudden increase in cases in the country is “deeply concerning”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Washington was concerned that Iran may have concealed “vital details” about its outbreak and urged all nations to “tell the truth about the coronavirus”.
More people have died in Iran from the virus than anywhere else outside China. The two countries have strong trading links.
The other countries currently in the spotlight are South Korea and Italy, where cases have surged in recent days.
In a video broadcast on state television, the deputy minister put on a brave face as he admitted he was infected.
“I too have been infected with coronavirus,” Harirchi said in the video apparently shot by himself. “I had a fever as of last night and my preliminary test was positive around midnight,” he said.
“I’ve isolated myself in a place since. A few minutes ago, I was told that my final test was final, and now I am starting the medication.”
An Iranian parliamentarian representing Tehran has also tested positive.
“My corona test is positive … I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world,” Mahmoud Sadeghi wrote on Twitter.
In the same message, he called on the head of Iran’s judiciary to release political prisoners to prevent them from getting infected and to allow them to spend the duration of the outbreak with their families.
Instagram Down: Giving 5xx Server Error
Update 19 Mar 2021 23:38 IST: Instagram and other apps are now working fine.
Instagram is currently facing downtime and users from all around the world are reporting Instagram Server Down on Twitter. Some users are also facing downtime on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The Instagram app is showing “couldn’t refresh feed”. and the Instagram website is giving 5xx Server Error.
Earthquake in Nalanda, Patna – Bihar with 3.5 Magnitude
An earthquake of magnitude 3.5 was reported near Nalanda in Bihar on Monday night, according to India’s National Center for Seismology.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 20 km northwest (NW) of Nalanda, Bihar, India, the agency said. The earthquake struck at 9:23 PM IST at a depth of 5 km from the surface. Tremors were also felt in Gaya, Bhagalpur, Nalanda, Patna.
Uttarakhand Power Plant Damaged After The Glacier Burst
Uttarakhand: A glacial burst in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand triggered an avalanche and massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands from surrounding areas, and damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
Disaster response and management teams have been deployed to conduct search-and-rescue and relief operations. Around 100 to 150 people may have been killed, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash told news agency ANI. Authorities fear hundreds more may still be stuck. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Assam to campaign for Assembly polls, tweeted: “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.”
Disaster management teams have been mobilized and hundreds of ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) have been rushed for rescue operations.
SN Pradhan, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said that teams from the relief force have been moved for search-and-rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand where a glacial burst has triggered an avalanche. “The glacial burst has taken out a bridge constructed by the Border Road Organisation. Also in the higher reaches, the Rishiganga hydel project also has been damaged,” he said.