Iran confirmed on Wednesday its first two cases of the new coronavirus, the government's spokesman said, shortly after reports that preliminary tests on the two had come back positive.
"As we had promised to announce any confirmed cases, a few minutes ago the health minister confirmed the two cases of the new coronavirus in the city of Qom," Ali Rabiei said on Twitter.
The health ministry said earlier that the patients had been put in isolation.
Rabiei did not give the nationality of the two people infected, but some reports suggested that they were Iranian nationals.
The death toll from the new coronavirus in mainland China passed 2,000 on Wednesday although the number of new cases fell for a second straight day, as authorities tightened already severe containment measures in the worst-hit city of Wuhan. (Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh and Parisa Hafezi; Editing by John Stonestreet and Hugh Lawson)