Iran Records Highest Daily Death Toll From COVID-19
Iran recorded its highest number of deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period, official health ministry figures showed on Sunday.
The 163 deaths reported on Sunday exceed the previous record from last Monday, when the health ministry reported 162 deaths in a day.
The new deaths bring the total toll in Iran to 11,571, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.
"In the past 24 hours, 2,560 people have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 240,438," Lari added. There have been 201,330 recoveries, she said.
The number of new daily infections and deaths has increased sharply in the last week following the gradual lifting of restrictions that began in mid-April.
Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday as he launched new measures to try to curb the coronavirus.
The republic has not imposed a full-scale lockdown but has introduced restrictions, including on religious and commercial sites.
But with its US sanctions-strapped economy in crisis, the country had progressively lifted measures from April, as infection numbers had declined.
Official figures show that the virus has rebounded since then.
Lari said almost a third of Iran's 31 provinces were classed "red", the highest category in the country's virus risk ranking.
Authorities say infections in the nine provinces, all on Iran's borders, have yet to peak.