Iran’s military on alert as virus kills 77, sickens leaders


This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran has put its armed forces on alert to assist health officials in battling the new coronavirus that’s killed at least 77 people.

The outbreak is sickening top officials and pushing even its supreme leader into wearing disposable gloves while trying to reassure the nation Tuesday. A top emergency official and at least 23 members of parliament reportedly contracted the virus and now suffer from the COVID-19 illness it causes.

Experts worry Iran’s percentage of deaths to infections, now around 3.3%, is much higher than other countries, suggesting the number of infections in Iran may be far greater.

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