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Covid death toll rises to 100,000 in Iran

People wear face masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tehran, Iran, on 17 April 2021 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
People wear face masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tehran, Iran, on 17 April 2021 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

Iran's death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 100,000 today with 564 fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours, state TV said, as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus spread through the Middle East's worst-hit country, according to Reuters.

State television, citing Iran's Ministry of Health, said the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections had reached 4,587,683 including 31,266 new cases since yesterday.

"The total number of deaths from COVID-19 has reached 100,255," the channel reported.

Since Monday, Iran has imposed tougher nationwide restrictions to stem a fifth wave of the respiratory disease, including travel curbs and closures of non-essential businesses.

The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the past weeks has forced Iran's rulers to permit imports of vaccines made by US and British companies, which Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had forbidden in January.

Social media users inside and outside Iran have accused the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment of being slow to vaccinate people – only about five million of the 83 million population have been fully inoculated.

Iranian authorities have blamed US sanctions for problems in procuring foreign vaccines and delays in deliveries.

Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from US sanctions reimposed on Tehran in 2018 after then President Donald Trump abandoned Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

READ: Iran records highest single-day COVID-19 deaths, infections

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