Iran’s Coronavirus Cases Spike as Millions Travel During Holiday

Iran reported its highest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than three months after millions defied government guidelines and traveled during a weeklong public holiday.

The country reported 8,751 new Covid-19 cases, the highest since Dec. 11, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, adding that some 89 people had died from the disease overnight.

With more than 1.8 million infections so far and some 62,000 deaths, Iran has the Middle East’s worst outbreak of coronavirus.

Iranian officials say U.S. sanctions have hampered their ability to tackle the disease and procure vaccines, yet the government only banned travel to towns with very high infection rates and millions of people still flocked to other areas during the current Persian new year break, according to state media.

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