June 26, 2020 / 11:33 AM / 20 days ago

Iran COVID-19 death toll exceeds 100 in 24 hours for eighth straight day

June 26 (Reuters) - Iran’s death toll from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours topped 100 for the eighth straight day, bringing the total to 10,239, according to health ministry figures issued on Friday.

With 2,628 new cases in the past 24 hours, the total number of people infected stood at 217,724, of whom 177,852 have recovered, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state television.

The sharp increase in new daily infections and deaths in the past week follows the gradual lifting of restrictions that began in mid-April.

Lari said 109 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 10,239.

Senior officials warn regularly that restrictions will be reimposed if health regulations to stem the surge in infections are not observed.

State TV on Friday aired interviews with several patients in hospitals who said they contracted the virus after attending wedding parties, wakes and other gatherings. In one case, the TV said, all the 35 people attending a wake in the Western Lorestan Province caught the virus; three of them are in intensive care.

Alireza Zali, head of the government-led Coronavirus Taskforce of Tehran, said it was estimated that up to 20 percent of the capital’s residents may have been infected by the coronavirus.

The capital city has a population of around 9 million.

President Hassan Rouhani said on June 20 that the government was considering making wearing masks mandatory in public places and covered spaces given the surge in the number of confirmed infections. (Editing by William Maclean)

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