Iranians Urged to Comply With Virus Curbs After Deadliest Day

Iran suffered its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak, as the country’s health minister said warnings about the spread of the disease had fallen on “deaf ears.”

Authorities reported on Tuesday that 200 people had died from Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, a sharp spike from the previous high of 163 recorded on July 5. The total death toll reached 11,931 out of 245,688 known cases.

“I repeatedly said to our people that it’s extremely dangerous to understate the situation,” Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on state TV just before the latest figures were made public. “Unfortunately, our pleas fell on deaf ears until we were gripped by a new wave” of infections.

The virus began surging again in May, around a month after Iran first started to loosen lockdown measures on its population of 82 million in an effort to keep its sanctions-hit economy afloat. Curbs have been reintroduced in some of Iran’s busiest port cities on the Persian Gulf, and wearing face masks in enclosed public spaces became mandatory nationwide from July 5.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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