CORONAVIRUS FEVER: Iranian vice president contract coronavirus amid endless efforts to contain it

A senior figure in Iran’s government Ms. Ebtekar, who sits just a few seats away from President Hassan Rouhani at cabinet meetings, has fallen ill with coronavirus.

This makes her Iran’s seventh official to test positive, including one prominent cleric who has died.

Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar confirmed that Mr. Rouhani’s deputy for women’s affairs and the highest-ranking woman in the government, has a confirmed coronavirus infection and is quarantined at home.

The disclosure came a day after a cabinet meeting in which she was in close contact with other government leaders.

At least 245 people have been infected in Iran, with 26 deaths, being the highest number outside China.

Hopes that the virus would be contained to China vanished, with countries beginning to stockpile medical equipment and investors taking flight in expectation of a global recession.