Iran virus deaths high 24,000: ministry

UAE daily coronavirus cases hit record high of 1,007

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The deaths in Iran from the novel coronavirus exceeded 24,000 on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health, blaming the public for the reduced use of face masks.

Figures "show that the use of masks is decreasing, while daily infections and hospital stays are increasing," the ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on television.

"Let's not forget that the current state of the virus reflects our compliance with health protocols and the use of masks," she said.

Iran has been battling the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East since late February.

Infections and deaths increased this month.

Daily infections have stayed above 2,000 over the past two weeks, nearing the high of 3,574 reached in early June.

In the 24 hours leading up to Saturday, 2,845 people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 419,043, the Ministry of Health said.

Another 166 deaths from the disease were recorded, bringing the total number of victims to 24,118.

There was skepticism at home and abroad about Iran's official figures, fearing that the actual toll could be much higher.

Iran has mandated the wearing of masks in closed public spaces and has repeatedly urged the public to refrain from unnecessary travel.

Iran reports a new record of 163 one-day virus deaths: official

© 2020 AFP

Iranian Virus Deaths Over 24,000: Ministry (2020, Sep 19)
accessed on September 19, 2020

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