Coronavirus kills member of council advising Iran’s supreme leader

The death of Expediency Council member Mohammad Mirmohammadi, 71, came as Iran announced the virus had killed 66 people among 1,501 confirmed cases in the country. In two days, the number of confirmed cases has more than doubled, showing the spiraling crisis of the outbreak as Iran says it is preparing to mobilize 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to confront the virus.

Iran has the highest death toll in the world after China, the epicenter of the virus that causes the illness called COVID-19.

Across the wider Mideast, there are over 1,680 cases of the new coronavirus, including Iran. The majority of regional cases are linked back to Iran.

Experts worry Iran’s percentage of deaths to infections, now around 4.4%, is much higher than other countries, suggesting the number of infections in Iran may be much higher than current figures show.