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Iranian arrested for posting fake coronavirus video as students evacuated from China

The 'coronavirus' video was widely shared [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 February, 2020

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Iranian police have arrested one person for posting a fake video of a coronavirus patient being hospitalised as Iranian students were evacuated from Wuhan and quarantined.

Iranian police on Thursday said they arrested one person for allegedly posting a "fake" video online showing the hospitalisation of a patient contaminated by coronavirus.

"The posting of this fake video clip, which was widely shared [on social networks] has sparked concern among the population," the police said in a statement on their website.

According to the police, the suspect suggested "that an individual contaminated by coronavirus was hospitalised in Kurdistan" in western Iran.

Initial findings indicated the suspect made the video for "entertainment" purposes, the police said.

The novel coronavirus outbreak, which began in late December, has claimed more than 560 lives, infected some 28,000 people in mainland China and spread to more than 20 countries.

On Wednesday Health Minister Said Namaki said on Twitter that 57 Iranian students had returned home from the Chinese industrial city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, and were all "in good health".

Read also: Arab countries are preparing for a possible coronavirus outbreak

The Iranian Rokna News Agency reported that 59 Iraqis, 24 Syrians and one Lebanese national were also on the flight. The Iraqi nationals were later repatriated to Baghdad.

A ministry official, quoted by official news agency IRNA, said the Iranian students have been placed in quarantine for two weeks.

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