TEHRAN, March 5. /TASS/. Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami stated on Thursday that the novel coronavirus might be a biological weapon elaborated by the US against China and Iran.
"Today, we are fighting the coronavirus, which may be a US biological weapon, first aimed at China, and then Iran and other states," he told the Iranian news agency Young Journalists Club.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. According to Chinese authorities, about 80,400 people have been infected with the virus in the country. The death toll has exceeded 3,000, while about 52,000 patients have recovered. WHO declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a global health emergency and named the virus COVID-19. Cases of coronavirus have been reported in over 80 countries and territories, including Russia. The largest outbreaks of COVID-19 outside of China have been detected in South Korea, Iran and Italy.
According to WHO, the number of people infected with COVID-19 outside of China is nearing 12,700, with over 210 people dead.