Adviser to Iran supreme leader 'has virus'

Parisa Hafezi
Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reportedly has coronavirus

A top adviser to Iran's utmost authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been infected with the coronavirus, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reports.

"Ali Akbar Velayati, who also is the head of Tehran's Masih Daneshvari hospital, had contacts with many coronavirus patients in past few weeks. He has been infected and is under quarantine now," Tasnim reported on Thursday.

The number of coronavirus fatalities and cases rose in Iran on Thursday, with 75 people dying from the virus in the past 24 hours.

The update brought the death toll to 429, Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said.

Over the same period, an additional 1075 people became infected with the virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 10,075.

Iran's third-largest city, Isfahan, said it would shut down its underground railway from the weekend in an attempt to slow the outbreak.

Isfahan's metro, which serves the city of 2 million people, will close its doors on Saturday and remain shut until further notice, Mayor Ghodratollah Norouzi announced on Twitter.