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COVID-19: Iran records more than 600 deaths in 24 hours, for the first time

COVID-19: Iran records more than 600 deaths in 24 hours, for the first time

On Sunday, the Iranian authorities announced that more than 600 deaths from the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19) had been recorded for the first time in the past 24 hours, a record number that coincides with the imposition of new restrictions to stop the epidemic in the country.

With 620 new deaths and 36,736 new infections recorded, the total number of deaths since the beginning of the epidemic rises to 97,828 and the number of infections to 4,425,821 cases, according to Ministry of Health figures.

Iran is the country most affected by the epidemic in the Near and Middle East. By the authorities’ own admission, official budgets are greatly undervalued.

Since June, Tehran has faced a spike in infections, with authorities referring to the “fifth wave” caused by the delta type. Balance sheets have grown heavier since the beginning of August.

The authorities have decided to close departments, banks and non-essential businesses across the country from Monday until Saturday, August 21 inclusive.

Traffic between governorates is also prohibited from Sunday until August 27.

The country, which has not confined its population of 83 million, has already implemented partial measures such as temporary travel bans and business closures.

Iran, which has been financially affected by US sanctions imposed since 2018, says it is struggling to import vaccines even as it tries to speed up its vaccination campaign.

On Sunday, the ministry said more than 15 million people had received a first dose, but only four million had received two doses. These are mainly the Sputnik V, Sinopharm, Covaxin and AstraZeneca vaccines.

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The authorities also approved the emergency use of two locally produced vaccines, including VOCiran Barekat, available in limited quantities.