A 103-year-old woman in Iran has recovered after being infected with the new coronavirus, state media reported yesterday, despite overwhelming evidence the elderly are most at risk from the disease.
The unnamed woman had been hospitalised in the central city of Semnan for about a week, IRNA news agency said.
But she was ‘discharged after making a complete recovery’, Semnan University of Medical Sciences head Navid Danayi was quoted as saying by IRNA late Tuesday.
The woman was the second elderly patient in Iran to have survived the disease.
The other was a 91-year-old man from Kerman, in the southeast of Iran, the news agency said.
After being sick for three days, he recovered on Monday despite having pre-existing medical conditions including high blood pressure and asthma, it added.
The report did not say how the pair were treated.
Since Iran announced its first deaths on 19 February, the novel coronavirus has spread to all of the country’s 31 provinces and killed nearly 1,000 people.
The elderly are the most vulnerable to the disease, which first emerged in China late last year.
It comes as Iran said its novel coronavirus death toll surpassed 1,000 on Wednesday as President Hassan Rouhani defended the response of his administration, which has yet to impose a lockdown.
The COVID-19 outbreak in sanctions-hit Iran is one of the deadliest for any country outside China, where the disease originated.
Rouhani’s government reported another 147 deaths – a record high for a single day in the month since it announced the emergence of the disease.
The virus has now killed 1,135 people in Iran out of 17,361 cases of infection based on official figures.
Speaking next to ministers wearing face masks Rouhani said: ‘Some ask why the government isn’t intervening, but I think we have intervened significantly.
‘Great things have been done (including) measures no other country has taken.’
He added: ‘We will get past these hard days.’
Since it announced its first two deaths in the holy Shiite city of Qom on February 19, Iran has taken a series of steps to contain the virus.
It has closed schools and universities until early April and also four key Shiite pilgrimage sites, including the Fatima Masumeh shrine in Qom.
Iran has also discouraged travel, cancelled the main weekly Friday prayers and temporarily closed parliament.
Few officials have directly commented on why a lockdown has not been imposed.
The World Health Organization this month estimated the novel coronavirus kills 3.4 per cent of all those infected.
But for people aged over 80 the fatality rate was 21.9 per cent, according to a report the WHO carried out with the Chinese authorities.