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Iran Marks Single-Day High Of Coronavirus Deaths As New Infections Increase Markedly

07/06/20

Source: RFE/RL

Iran has recorded its highest single-day death toll since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, reporting 163 deaths in the last 24 hours on July 5. The total exceeded the previous record of 162 deaths set on June 29. Health officials also said 2,560 new infections were recorded in the previous 24 hours.



 

The Middle Eastern nation has seen a total of 240,438 coronavirus infections and 11,571 fatalities, making it the hardest-hit country in the region.

The number of new infections has increased markedly in recent days as restrictions imposed in April to curb the spread of the virus have been partially lifted.

Iran's President Says Wear Masks, Or Be Denied Public Services

Iranian President Hassan Rohani says Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied public services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week.

Rohani made the comments on July 4 as he announced new steps to try to curb the coronavirus pandemic that was first confirmed in Iran in February.

"Not wearing a mask is a de facto violation of other people's rights," the Iranian president said, according to the presidential website.

Wearing masks becomes mandatory from July 5 in covered public places, Rohani announced, after tougher curbs were imposed in cities and towns in five provinces where the number of infections are rising after a gradual easing of lockdowns from mid-April.

"Government employees should not serve people who do not wear masks and employees who do not wear them should be considered absentees and sent home," said Rohani.

Those infected have a "religious duty" to notify others, Rohani said, adding: "Keeping your infection a secret violates the rights of other people."

The government website has published photos of Rohani, who is rarely seen wearing a mask, with a face mask.

 

Days earlier, a photo of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei wearing a face mask was published by his website.


Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei wearing a face mask

The government has in past days called on citizens to wear face masks and a weeklong campaign by state television has been warning viewers that the coronavirus "is not a joke."

More than a dozen Iranian soccer players from the domestic Esteghlal and Foolad Khuzestan clubs have tested positive for the coronavirus, Iranian media reported on July 4.

With reporting by Reuters, dpa, and IRNA



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