How Tehran Failed to Control Coronavirus

March 19, 2020

Many unknowns about Iran’s outbreak remain. For example, officials have not identified “patient zero” - the first person infected. So, they also do not know where the first infection appeared.

Public comments on that issue suggest the city of Qom, 125 kilometers southwest of Tehran. How the virus arrived there remains in question.

Officials suggested that an Iranian businessman returned from China with the virus. Qom is home to major Shi’ite religious schools that include Chinese among the student population. The city lies along a $2.7 billion railroad project. A Chinese company is building the railroad. China is also building a solar power plant in Qom.

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