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Austrian Diplomat Contracted Virus While Visiting Iran

February 27, 2020
2 min read
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif during the delegation's visit to Tehran
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif during the delegation's visit to Tehran

A member of the Austrian foreign ministry has been infected with coronavirus virus after a visit to Iran, the Austrian newspaper Kurier has reported.

Kurier claimed the man was quarantined at Franz Joseph Hospital in Vienna by the order of police and a medical team and was not being allowed any visitors.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg traveled to Tehran earlier this week along with other members of the foreign ministry and met with President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Zarif appeared to make light of the outbreak of coronavirus before meeting and shaking hands with Alexander Schallenberg on February 24: “I do not have coronavirus,” he said, smiling. Iran has reported 245 cases of the virus, and 26 people have died.

The Austrian newspaper reported that the test results of at least one member of the delegation from the Austrian foreign ministry had tested positive and that other members of the team were also undergoing tests.

”Our efforts to find out details of the status of the other people were unsuccessful, and the foreign ministry did not respond to requests for information,” the Kurier article stated, adding that it was not able to discover the name of the infected person.

However, the individual was quoted as saying, "After returning to Austria, my family told me to go to my family doctor. I knew I shouldn't go to public places. "

After reporting that he was suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus, or COVID-19, and less than 30 minutes of receiving confirmation that he had contracted the virus, a medical team arrived at the diplomat's home and transported him to an isolation ward at the hospital. Medical experts were also thought to have sanitized his home.

The Austrian Ministry of Health has advised that anyone who has symptoms of the COVID-19 virus should stay at home and contact their doctor for medical advice.

Schallenberg’s colleague was reported to have been short of breath, had a fever and a dry cough, and was experiencing aches and pains. He remains in the hospital pending treatment and further tests.

Kurier said the official had said he was “fine” and had been quarantined in a room sealed off from surrounding rooms. “Food is served in a disposable container. I can make telephone calls and I have been drinking tea several times a day."


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