Iran’s New Coronavirus Cases Surge by Nearly a Fifth to Record

Iran’s new coronavirus cases jumped by a fifth to exceed 5,000 for the first time on Tuesday, as a weeks-long surge in infections threatens to overwhelm the country’s health system.

The Health Ministry recorded 5,039 cases overnight, spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said, while 322 people died in the last 24 hours. Iran, which has the biggest outbreak in the Middle East and an economy weighed down by U.S. sanctions, has now registered 539,670 cases and 31,034 fatalities.

All but one of the country’s provinces are in the most severe tier for new infections, Lari said.

Government attempts to re-introduce lockdown measures that were eased after they took a major toll on the economy have so far failed to contain the outbreak. Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has said non-emergency patients won’t be admitted to hospitals until further notice because of the high volume of Covid patients.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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