Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei-Golpaygani, a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, died of coronavirus
on Monday morning, Iranian news outlets have reported.
Bathaei-Golpaygani was being treated for the illness in Shahid Beheshti Hospital, where he was taken on Saturday.The country's death toll from Covid-19 has now reached 853, with 129 reported in the past 24 hours, a health ministry official tweeted on Monday, adding that a total of 14,991 people have been infected across the Islamic Republic.
"In the past 24 hours we had 1,053 confirmed new cases of coronavirus and 129 new deaths," Alireza Vahabzadeh tweeted.
A number of politicians, doctors, commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards and clerics have been infected with the virus in Iran, several of whom have died. These include Nasser Shabani, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Farhad Tazari, the former head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Political Bureau, and Seyed Mohammad Mir-Mohammadi, a member of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, a body that advises Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
To contain the outbreak in Iran, one of the deadliest outside of China, officials have called on people to stay at home.
"Based on the figures, we have past the peak of the outbreak, but I still suggest people stay at home, and in case of urgency, observe all health protocols," said President Hassan Rouhani
, according to state TV.
A host of senior officials have contracted the virus. Several of them, including two members of a top clerical body, have died, according to state media.