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Iran's coronavirus death toll rises above 26,000 - state media

FILE PHOTO: A student wearing a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has his temperature taken by a school staff member at Al-Mahdi school in Tehran, Iran September 5, 2020. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 183 to 26,169 on Wednesday, the highest in the Middle East, with the total number of identified cases rising to 457,219, state media reported.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said 3,582 new cases had been identified in the previous 24 hours, the state broadcaster IRIB reported on its website.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli on Wednesday voiced alarm over a surge in infections, especially in the capital Tehran, and warned that fines may soon be imposed on people in the city not wearing face masks or flouting other health precautions.

“If the plan is approved by the national coronavirus taskforce, people who do not follow health protocols will be fined ... Tehran has been proposed as a model for the implementation of this plan,” state media quoted the minister as saying.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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