Iranian Vice-President Tests Positive For Coronavirus, While England Confirms Two New Cases

Iranian vice-president Masoumeh Ebtekar has been infected with coronavirus, it has been reported. 

According to one of the country’s state-owned newspapers, Ebtekar – the vice-president for women and family affairs – has tested positive for Covid-19.

The news came as the number of coronavirus cases in Iran reached 245, making it the country with the fourth-highest number of cases in the world.

Brits returning from Iran have been advised to self-isolate for two weeks, even if they haven’t shown symptoms of the virus. 

In the UK, two further patients tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of UK cases to 15.

And the first case of coronavirus has been diagnosed in Northern Ireland.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “Two further patients in England have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of UK cases to 15.

“The virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres in Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, London.” 

Meanwhile, Buxton Medical Practice in Derbyshire has urged people not to go to the practice on Thursday due to a confirmed case of coronavirus.

A message on the surgery’s website read: “We are currently closed. We have been advised to close by Public Health England because of a confirmed Coronavirus case. Please call 111 or visit A&E if you have an urgent medical problem today.” 

The Royal Free Hospital in London, where one of the UK's newly-diagnosed coronavirus patients is being treated  (Photo: PA)

It comes after parents of pupils at Burbage Primary School in Buxton were told the school would be closed on Thursday due to a “confirmed case of coronavirus amongst our parent population”.

The school, which has 350 pupils, sent a message to parents via WhatsApp on Wednesday night saying the decision had been taken as a “precautionary measure and to enable a deep clean to be completed”.

So far in the UK more than 7,000 people have been tested for coronavirus and of the 15 to have tested positive, eight have so far been discharged from hospital.

Globally, more than 82,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, while the number of deaths has exceeded 2,800. 

The vast majority of cases – more than 78,500 – have been recorded in China, where the outbreak began.  

Muslim pilgrims at the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia barred foreign travellers from entering the country over coronavirus fears – including those visiting the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba. 

The country’s decision comes months before the annual hajj pilgrimage and after 220 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 illness have been recorded in the Middle East.

In Japan schools are set to close early for the spring holidays in a bid to limit the outbreak. 

The measure comes amid growing concern about the rise in the number of untraceable cases in northern Japan and elsewhere. Japan now has more than 890 cases, including 705 from a quarantined cruise ship.

Meanwhile, a woman in Osaka working as a tour bus guide was reinfected with the virus, testing positive after having recovered from an earlier infection.

Her case, the first known of in Japan, highlighted how much is still unknown about the virus even as concerns grow about its global spread.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.