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Iran sees highest daily death toll in months as virus surges

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Iran’s daily coronavirus death toll has climbed over 400 for the first time in months, as the country, which has long had the region’s largest outbreak, battles a post-holiday infection surge

After COVID-19 cases broke record after record earlier this month, the Health Ministry reported 21,644 infections on Sunday, bringing the total count over 2.2 million. Hospitals are rapidly filling across the country, particularly in the capital. Authorities reported 130 deaths in Tehran alone, according to Mohsen Hashemi, head of the Tehran municipal council. The single-day death toll nationwide reached a peak of over 480 last November.

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Still, Iran has restricted business operations in more than 250 cities for a period of 10 days, shuttering restaurants, beauty salons, malls and bookstores, confectionaries and public parks.

However, President Hassan Rouhani stressed the importance of importing foreign-made vaccines in a speech last week.

“We cannot wait for the domestic vaccine to reach mass production,” he said. “We need to expand vaccination this spring by importing vaccines in appropriate ways.”

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