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Iran's daily COVID death toll hits record high

People wearing face masks as a precaution against coronavirus, walk through the street in southeastern Ni'Matabad village of Tehran, Iran on October 15, 2020 [Fatemeh Bahrami / Anadolu Agency]
People wearing face masks as a precaution against coronavirus, walk through the street in southeastern Ni'Matabad village of Tehran, Iran on October 15, 2020 [Fatemeh Bahrami / Anadolu Agency]

Iran's daily tally of coronavirus deaths hit a record high of 434 on Sunday, the authorities said, a day after announcing stringent new restrictions including the closure of schools, universities and mosques in most of the country, reported Reuters.

The deaths, announced by Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari on state TV, take the national toll to 35,298. She said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 7,719 to 620,491.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that new restrictions will take effect on Wednesday in 25 of Iran's 31 provinces for 10 days.

To stem a third wave of the virus in Iran, the government has banned weddings, wakes and conferences in the Iranian capital until further notice.

Read: Iran health minister urges tougher COVID action as new cases soar

Mask-wearing became mandatory in public in Tehran, capital of the country hardest hit by COVID-19 in the Middle East, on October 10 and officials said violators would be fined.

"Everyone should know that I, as health minister, cannot bring this epidemic situation under control alone, and a lot more (help) is required," Saeed Namaki said in remarks last month quoted by the semi-official news agency ISNA.

"It was announced that anyone without a mask would be fined, but I saw…that 40% of the people on the bus did not wear masks. Can infection be controlled in this way?" Namaki said.

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