Iran records 337 COVID-19 deaths in single day

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Iran on Monday announced 337 deaths from the novel coronavirus, a record high for a single day in the Middle East country hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In recent days, we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in mortality from the disease,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in televised remarks.

She said the latest deaths brought to 30,712 the total number of fatalities since Iran reported its first coronavirus cases in February.

The previous record death toll for a day in Iran was 279 announced on Wednesday.

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Iran said the total number of infections in the country reached 534,631 on Monday, with 4,251 people testing positive in the past 24 hours.

“The current situation is the result of neglecting to comply with health protocols, reduced use of masks and dangerous social behaviour in recent weeks,” Lari said.

Deaths and infections from the virus have been on a rising trajectory in Iran and recorded several new highs since early September.

The numbers were also likely to be higher than officially reported, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi acknowledged on Wednesday, primarily due to testing and reporting protocols.

Tehran and four major cities were partially sealed off from Thursday to midday Sunday in a bid to dissuade Iranians from travelling during holidays.