Message of condolences over death of newly-elected female MP who had contracted coronavirus

March 9, 2020 - 2:13

TEHRAN- A number of reformist and principlist figures have expressed sorrow over death of Fatemeh Rahbar, who lost her life on Saturday due to COVID-19 infection.

Rahbar, 56, a conservative female politician, was elected to the parliament in the Feb. 2 parliamentary election from the Tehran constituency.

She is among seven politicians who have died from the coronavirus outbreak since the country reported its first cases in mid-February.

Reformist lawmaker Mohammad Reza Aref; newly-elected MP and former Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; senior cleric Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghadam; the women’s faction in the sitting parliament; and a number of political parties and figures expressed condolences over her death.

Rahbar was among the top principlist candidates in Tehran, who overwhelmingly won the February elections. She had served as a lawmaker for three consecutive four-year terms.

Hossein Sheikholeslam, Iran’s former ambassador to Syria, former advisor to current Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and former MP, also died from coronavirus on Thursday.

On March 2, Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a member of the Expediency Council and former parliamentarian, also died due to the same infection.

Iran has been scrambling to contain the rapid spread of the infection.

In a briefing on Sunday, the Health Ministry announced the number of people diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in Iran has increased to 6,566, of whom 194 have died and 2134 recovered so far.
Deputy Health Minister Kiyanoush Jahanpour said over the past 24 hours, 743 new cases of people having the virus have been identified, adding 49 have died during the mentioned period.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi and a number of parliamentarians, including Mahmoud Sadeghi, have also contracted the virus.

In late February, Mohammad Ali Ramezani, who was recently re-elected to parliament from Astaneh Ashrafiyeh in northern Gilan province, also died due to respiratory problems caused by coronavirus.

Iran has closed schools and universities, suspended major cultural and sporting events and reduced working hours across the country to slow the contagion, which has spread to all of its provinces.

Iranian authorities also ordered the closure of the gyms and sports events by the end of winter.

The coronavirus is spreading in the Middle East, Europe, the U.S. and other parts of the world, while parts of China begin to lower their emergency response level as the number of new cases reported there continues to slow.

MJ/PA

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