Adviser to Iran’s foreign minister dies of coronavirus

Tehran - An adviser to Iran’s foreign minister who took part in the 1979 US embassy hostage crisis has died from coronavirus, the official IRNA news agency reported. Hossein Sheikholeslam, “a veteran and revolutionary diplomat” died late Thursday, IRNA said. Iran has been scrambling to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus which so far has infected 3,513 people and killed at least 107 people in the Islamic republic. Six of those who died from coronavirus are politicians or government officials.

Netherlands record first death in coronavirus outbreak

The Hague - The Netherlands has recorded its first death in the novel coronavirus outbreak, Dutch health officials said Friday. “An 86-year-old man with COVID-19 who was admitted to the Ikazia hospital in Rotterdam has died. This is the first patient in the Netherlands to die of the coronavirus,” the National Institute for Public Health said in a statement, adding the source of his contamination was unknown.

Virus lockdowns and quarantines must respect rights: UN

Geneva (AGENCIES): Governments using lockdowns and quarantines to fight the deadly new coronavirus must ensure people’s rights are respected and avoid unintended consequences, the UN rights chief said Friday. Michelle Bachelet said the response to the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus must place human dignity and rights at its centre. Her office said lockdowns, quarantines and similar measures “should always be carried out in strict accordance with human rights standards and in a way that is necessary and proportionate”. Bachelet’s comments came as the number of people infected worldwide neared 100,000 across 85 nations, with more than 3,300 lives lost. Most deaths and infections are in China, where the virus first emerged late last year, prompting the country to quarantine entire cities, temporarily shut factories and close schools indefinitely. The epidemic has since reached almost 90 countries, wreaking havoc on international business, tourism, sports events and schools -- with almost 300 million students sent home worldwide.