Iran says virus deaths top 11,000

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran’s death toll from the novel coronavirus passed 11,000 yesterday, the health ministry said, as the country struggles to contain the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak of COVID-19.

Official figures have shown a rising trajectory in fatalities and new confirmed cases in recent months, after Iran reported a near-two month low in daily recorded infections in early May.

“In the past 24 hours, we lost 148 of our compatriots due to infection with COVID-19,” Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state TV.

That brings Iran’s overall death toll to 11,106, she added. She also raised the country’s coronavirus caseload to 232,863, with 2,652 new confirmed cases in the past day.

“Unfortunately, the number of hospitalisations is increasing in most of the country’s provinces,” Lari said. The resurging overall numbers have seen some previously largely unscathed provinces classified as “red” – the highest level on Iran’s colour-coded risk scale – with authorities allowed to re-impose restrictive measures if required.

They include Bushehr, Hormozgan, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Khorasan Razavi, Kurdistan, and West and East Azerbaijan, all located along Iran’s borders.