Tehran: Iran reported 235 new deaths caused by the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest number of deaths in a single day in the hardest-hit region in the Middle East.
“We have lost 235 of our compatriots due to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours,” taking the overall toll to 16,147, said health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.
Authorities had placed Tehran among 15 out of Iran’s 31 provinces now on “red” alert over the virus, she told a televised news conference.
“The situation is worrying” in Iran, Lari said, noting that “the number of daily hospitalisations in the country is approaching the peak of the disease” in March.
“Tehran, the most populous province, has turned red for the first time since the first peak of the virus,” she said, calling for strict enforcement of health guidelines.
Red is the highest category in the Islamic Republic’s coronavirus risk rating.
Since the announcement of its first case on February 19, Iran has been working hard to contain the new coronavirus outbreak.
Since reaching a multi-month low in May, Iran’s announced virus-related deaths and infections have rebounded.
The previous high death toll record was announced last Tuesday, when the Ministry of Health said 229 people had died.
The authorities have enforced the use of masks in closed public places and allowed the worst-hit provinces (including Tehran) to re-implement restrictions that have been phased out since April to reopen the sanctioned Iranian economy.