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Iran Lawmakers Reject Proposal To Be Quarantined In Parliament

Islamic Consultative Assembly, also called the Iranian Parliament or Majles, is the national legislative body of Islamic Republic of Iran. FILE PHOTO

Iranian lawmakers have rejected a proposal to remain in quarantine in the building of the Parliament in the next few months until the end of their term in mid-May.

Behrouz Nemati, a member of the Presidium of the Parliament, on Saturday said the proposal was put to vote and lawmakers rejected it. According to Nemati, the Presidium has decided to continue holding sessions until May when the newly elected parliament convenes.

Iran reported the coronavirus outbreak On February 19, only two days before the elections and simultaneously reported its first two deaths in Qom on the same day.

Assadollah Abbasi, another member of the Presidium, on April 1 said 23 lawmakers had tested positive for coronavirus, out of the 100 who had been given the test, and 40 more were suspected of carrying the virus.

Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani is among the lawmakers who have tested positive. He was hospitalized on April 2. He is the highest-ranking Iranian official who has caught the virus and has been hospitalized. Other high-ranking officials include First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri and the International Affairs Advisor of the Supreme Leader Ali-Akbar Velayati.

So far three former, current and future lawmakers have passed away due to COVID-19.

The Iranian Parliament shut down in early March. Attempts have been made to hold the parliament sessions by video-conference without much success. The first session in the building was held on April 9 with two-thirds of lawmakers attending to hear the reports of the Health and Interior ministers about the measures taken to contain the epidemic.