Authorities in Iran this week announced the country’s first two cases of the novel coronavirus — COVID-19 — which has infected more than 75,000 people globally and killed some 2,000 others.
The Iranian news agency ISNA reported the first two confirmed cases on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. The cases were confirmed in the country’s central province of Qom. The nationality of the two people infected is not clear, and no other details were provided.
Other suspected cases of the virus in the country are reportedly being investigated.
“Since [the] last two days, some suspected cases of the new coronavirus were found,” said the country’s health ministry, Kiyanoush Jahanpour, according to the Associated Press.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, nine cases have been confirmed in the United Arab Emirates, seven of them Chinese nationals, one Indian and one Filipino. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Health Ministry confirmed its first case last Friday.
The case in Egypt was also the first on the African continent. Experts and African leaders have expressed concern that should the virus spread there, it might wreak havoc among less developed countries with fewer health resources.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.