Iran’s Covid-19 Cases Surge to Record High After Public Holiday

A loosely controlled two-week public holiday in Iran has driven new coronavirus infections to a record high in the Middle East’s worst-hit country.

New cases surged to 17,430 on Tuesday, surpassing the previous record of 14,051 reported in late November last year, the Health Ministry said, adding that a further 174 deaths were reported overnight.

Authorities have declared Tehran and several other major cities “red zones”, as infections soared after millions of people defied government advice by traveling during the Persian new year holiday, which started on March 20.

Over the weekend non-essential businesses were told to close or reduce staff numbers but officials in the capital are still deliberating whether to impose a full lockdown in the city, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

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