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No Confirmed Instances of Coronavirus In Iran, Health Ministry Official Says

The Khosrawi border crossing between Iraq and Iran. Iranian health officials say an alert has been issued to border posts to screen for coronavirus. FILE PHOTO

An official of Iran's Ministry of Health on Thursday said medical tests have confirmed that the two Chinese nationals in Tabriz suspected of carrying coronavirus have been diagnosed with Type B influenza and are no longer quarantined.

In a tweet on Thursday evening, ​Kianush Jahanpur, the Head of the Health Ministry's Public Relations and Information Center said tests have confirmed that the two Chinese nationals who were quarantined in Tabriz do not carry the virus and in another tweet warned that the "rumor virus" which is more dangerous than the deadly coronavirus "need to be vigilant about".

Earlier on Thursday the Chancellor of Tabriz Medical Sciences University had said that two Chinese women who had arrived in the northwestern city of Tabriz through Azerbaijan on Wednesday and had gone to the hospital with symptoms similar to those of coronavirus were quarantined.

However, on Thursday Ebrahim Shakiba, Head of the Health Department of Kermanshah Province in the west of the country, said border posts between Iran and Iraq and all health centers in the province are on full alert following reports of coronavirus in Iraqi Kurdistan. Shakiba stressed that no confirmed cases of coronavirus infection have been reported by Iranian medical centers.

On Thursday Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said the Ministry is working round-the-clock to help the Iranian nationals residing in the Chinese city of Wuhan - the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak.

According to Mousavi, the Iranian embassy in China established contact with the Iranian students in Wuhan from the very start of the outbreak and intends to evacuate them but needs the approval of the government of China to put its plan into effect and added that consultations with the Chinese officials were in progress.

China has reported a 29 per cent spike in coronavirus deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 170 as of Thursday. The spike in coronavirus deaths has alarmed the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has warned all governments to be “on alert”. WHO is now considering declaration of a global health emergency.