200313 Iran
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Image Credit: AFP

Tehran: A key adviser to Iran’s supreme leader has been placed in quarantine after experiencing “mild symptoms” of the new coronavirus, Tasnim news agency reported on Thursday.

Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on foreign policy, was “quarantined after having experienced mild symptoms of coronavirus,” the agency said.

It quoted a spokesman at Tehran’s Massih Danechvari hospital for its report.

The hospital, of which Velayati, a paediatrician by profession, is the head, is the main centre for coronavirus patients.

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“Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, when the light symptoms appeared, doctors prescribed a test” for the 74-year-old Velayati, Tasnim said.

He was later placed in isolation at his home and given medicine, the agency added without saying whether Velayati had tested positive for the virus.

But Tasnim said that Velayati’s “general health is improving”.

Velayati is a close adviser to Khamenei and served as Iran’s foreign minister from 1981-1997.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 429 lives in Iran and infected more than 10,000 people, according to the latest toll from the health ministry.

The outbreak in Iran is one of the deadliest outside China, where the disease originated.

Several politicians and officials both sitting and former have been infected, with some dying from the illness.