An Iranian parliamentary spokesman announced Wednesday that anyone who spreads rumors of the Wuhan corona virus outbreak will be sentenced to one to three years in prison and flogging, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.
“Spreading fake news of the Corona virus outbreak will panic people. This will also lay the foundation stone for the country’s closure, “said Hassan Norouzi, spokesman for the Legal and Justice Committee of Parliament, in which the Tehran Times,
Norouzi said the sentence and flogging was based on “the Islamic Penal Code” and 24 people had already been arrested on suspicion of “spreading rumors” about the disease.
Iran has reported 139 cases of coronavirus infections across the country, with an epicenter in the city of Qom, a destination for Shiite Muslim religious pilgrims. Nineteen Iranians have died of the disease so far, and the country has the most cases in the Middle East. While officials have advised citizens not to visit Qom, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Wednesday that the government was not planning to quarantine entire cities, but only infected people.
“Corona virus must not become a weapon for our enemies to stop working and producing in our country,” said Rouhani.
Iranian Deputy Minister of Health Iraj Harirchi announced on Tuesday that he had been infected with coronavirus. In a video recorded at his home, Harirchi tried to calm the audience down and said, “I will definitely defeat the corona.”
Harirchi was filmed on state television the day before to announce that the country’s outbreak was under control. He was perspiring visibly and wiping his face with a handkerchief.
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