Iran parliament speaker tests positive for COVID-19 as deaths reach 3,160 Apr 03, 2020 0 504 12345 Tehran Iran’s parliament speaker tested positive for COVID-19, state television reported Thursday, becoming the latest official to contract the disease in the hard hit country.Ali Larijani “was tested for coronavirus after showing certain symptoms, and as the result was positive, he is currently in quarantine and undergoing treatment,” the report said.Larijani, 62, is close to the Iranian leadership and president and was re-elected in 2016 for a second term as parliament speaker. He is one of the most senior officials to be infected so far.Iran has been scrambling to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus since it reported its first cases on February 19. Earlier Thursday Iran had reported 124 new deaths from the coronavirus, raising its total to 3,160 with more than 50,000 people infected.The announcement came as President Hasan Rouhani warned at a cabinet meeting that the country may still battle the pandemic for another year.“Coronavirus is not something for which we can point to a certain date and say it will be completely eradicated by then,” he said.Rouhani said the virus “may be with us in upcoming months, or until the end” of the current Iranian year, in March 2021. The virus has not spared Iranian lawmakers or other officials.At least 23 of the legislature’s 290 members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far, state news agency IRNA said on Tuesday.COVID-19 has also killed at least 12 serving or former government officials, according to official reports.After weeks of refraining from imposing a lockdown or quarantine measures, Tehran decided last week to ban all intercity travel until at least April 8.There is no official lockdown within Iran’s cities, although the government has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay at home to contain the spread of the virus. (AFP) Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Iran, US heat up war of words despite COVID-19 pandemic Apr 03, 2020 0 2869 UN envoy in talks for Yemen ceasefire over coronavirus Apr 03, 2020 0 505 Nigeria virus lockdown pushes Lagos poor to the brink Apr 03, 2020 0 622 Saudi imposes 24-hour virus curfew in holy cities AFP Riyadh Saudi Arabia on Thursday extended curfew restrictions on Islam’s two holiest cities to 24 hours to stem the spread of coronavirus as the number of deaths from the disease rose to 21. The announcement comes amid .. Amnesty says Guinea security forces complicit in poll violence AFP Dakar Amnesty International on Thursday said security forces in Guinea were complicit in election-day violence which killed at least 12 people in the West African nation. Guinea voted on March 22 on whether to adopt a .. Over 250 rescued in Niger desert, put in quarantine Niamey More than 250 Europe-bound migrants were rescued in Niger’s arid north and placed in coronavirus quarantine after being abandoned by traffickers, the International Organization for Migration said Thursday. .. Israel health minister contracts virus, Netanyahu re-enters quarantine Jerusalem Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, a leading member of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to re-enter precautionary .. Sahel humanitarian crisis ‘spiralling’ amid virus: WFP Dakar More than five million people in Africa’s conflict-ravaged Sahel region are facing hunger, the World Food Programme said Thursday, just as the novel coronavirus is spreading into affected countries. In a ..