Iran’s New Covid-19 Cases Spike Sharply to Above 8,000

Iran’s coronavirus outbreak worsened with new cases jumping more than 20% overnight, as the onset of winter and a sanctions-hit economy defy official efforts to contain infections.

The Health Ministry reported some 8,293 new daily infections on Thursday, up by more than a fifth from the previous day, and the sixth record for infections in less than 10 days.

Pollution levels surge in winter, compounding respiratory illnesses, particularly in the capital Tehran and other major cities. The Health Ministry says hospitals are already overwhelmed and struggling to accommodate patients.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Tests Positive for Covid-19: IRNA

Last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attended a government coronavirus task-force for the first time and urged officials, who are also trying to parry the impact of severe U.S. sanctions, to take stronger action against people not abiding by social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

Scores of towns and cities announced fresh lockdown measures and the closing of non-essential businesses on Monday. Authorities in Tehran are yet to announce a full closure of the capital, where the outbreak is causing the most damage.

Iran’s Daily Coronavirus Cases and Deaths Soar to New Peak

Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari also reported 399 deaths overnight on Thursday, bringing the total to 34,113. Known infections stand at 596,941.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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