Iran’s vice-president has been diagnosed with coronavirus, state media have reported, as the country struggles to stop the spread of the disease.
Masoumeh Ebtekar is among 254 people infected with the virus in the Middle Eastern nation, where 26 people have been killed.
The vice-president for women and family affairs is better known internationally as the English-language spokeswoman for the hostage-takers who seized the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, sparking a 444-day diplomatic crisis.
Iran’s deputy health minister tested positive for the virus earlier this week, hours after appearing visibly unwell at a press conference during which he denied the government was suppressing the scale of the outbreak.
Coronavirus cases in Iran spiked by 106 over the last 24 hours, the country’s health ministry announced on Thursday. The country’s death toll from the outbreak is higher than any country except China, where the epidemic began.