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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's Covid case total surpasses two million as daily infections hit another record high

Iran is facing the worst Covid outbreak in the Middle East [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2021

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Iran's Covid case total has climbed to over two million as the Middle East finds itself in facing a resurgence of the virus.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran passed the two million mark on Thursday, the health ministry announced, as the daily caseload reached a new record high.

The virus has infected 2,006,934 people in Iran and killed 63,884, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in televised remarks.

She added that 22,586 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, an increase of more than 1,600 over the previous record high just registered on Wednesday. 

Officials have blamed the recent surge in cases on family visits and leisure trips made during the Iranian new year holidays that started on 21 March.The Islamic republic has been battling the Middle East's deadliest coronavirus outbreak.

Read more: Coronavirus surges across Arab world in run up to Ramadan despite vaccine progress 

In January, the daily numbers of deaths and new infections had remained relatively stable at fewer than 100 and fewer than 7,000 respectively, but since late March those numbers have soared.

What coronavirus cases in the Middle East looked like in March 2020
What coronavirus cases looked like in the Middle East in March 2020. Click to enlarge image.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki and other officials have acknowledged that the official figures understate the real impact of the pandemic.

Dozens of towns and cities including the capital Tehran are classified as "red", the highest rating on the country's coronavirus risk scale, requiring all non-essential businesses to close.

Iran has declined to impose a full lockdown on its population of 82 million since the pandemic started early last year.

Instead, it has resorted to piecemeal measures, such as temporary travel bans and business closures.

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