The chief of Iran’s counter-coronavirus task force has been infected with the deadly virus, as the country grapples with containing the illness.
Iranian Health Ministry spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Iraj Harirchi tested positive for the virus.
Harirchi himself said in an online video he had contracted the virus and had quarantined himself in his home. He vowed that Iranian authorities would bring the virus under control.
The news about Harirchi came one day after he sought to minimize the danger presented by the virus’ spread at a Tehran news conference.
Outside of China, Iran has been hardest hit by the coronavirus. Authorities raised the death toll Tuesday to 15 and said there were 95 confirmed infections.
Iran suffered another blow Tuesday when the United Arab Emirates banned all fights to and from the country. UAE announced the move one day after Iran said the virus had spread beyond its borders into multiple Middle East countries.
The UEA is home to long-haul air carriers and continues to be a significant international transit route for the 80 million people in Iran.