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Iranian Health Official: Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 3,993

Iranian Health Official: Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 3,993

Wednesday, 8 April, 2020 - 12:00

Iran's new coronavirus death toll has climbed to 3,993 with 121 more deaths in the past 24 hours, a Health Ministry spokesman told state TV on Wednesday.

Kianush Jahanpur said that the total number of infections in the country has risen to 64,586.

"We had 1,997 new infected cases in the past 24 hours .... there are 3,956 infected people in critical conditions," he noted.

Iran, which announced its first COVID-19 cases on February 19, is by far the worst hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, according to official tolls.

But there has been speculation abroad that the real number of deaths and infections in the country could be higher, AFP reported.

Jahanpur said the country had carried out 220,975 COVID-19 tests to date, according to IRNA.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said a "second wave" of the fight against the coronavirus would start from Saturday, and that it would be more difficult.

"Low-risk" businesses would be allowed to reopen from Saturday, he said, because "we want to continue economic activities as much as possible while fighting coronavirus at the same time".

According to AFP, the decision to reopen businesses has drawn criticism from health experts and even some government officials.

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