TEHRAN, Feb. 24, 2020 (Xinhua) -- People wearing masks walk in downtown Tehran, Iran, Feb. 23, 2020. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday issued an order to form a national headquarters to cope with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the . Image Source: IANS News

Tehran, Feb 27 : The outbreak of coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, in Iran has affected 245 people whereas the death toll so far is 26, Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education announced on Thursday.

Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Centre of Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said that Iran has increased the number of laboratories for testing the virus infection to seven. These will be increased to 22 in the following week, Xinhua reported.

Iran announced the first cases of viral infection in the central Qom city on February 18.

An earlier report said an Iranian lawmaker had tested positive for the deadly coronavirus. "I give this message (of being affected by the virus) while I am less hopeful about staying alive," Xinhua quoted lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi as saying to local media on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a Ministry of Health and Medical Education official said the country's deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi had also tested positive for COVID-19.

Mohammad Reza Qadir, president of Qom Medical Sciences University, has also tested positive.

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