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Iran Hits Coronavirus Case Record For Third Consecutive Day; Infections Above 2 Million


Iranian women wearing protective masks walk in Tehran.

Iranian authorities say COVID-19 cases have surpassed 2 million, with a new daily record of more than 22,000 infections, following the Persian New Year holiday.

"Unfortunately, with 118 new fatalities since yesterday, we have recorded a total of 63,884 coronavirus deaths," Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state television on April 8, adding that the number of infected people had reached 2,006,934 with 22,586 new cases.

Some critics say they believe the government has suppressed reporting and that the actual numbers are much higher.

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Iran is battling the Middle East's deadliest coronavirus outbreak, and officials have blamed the latest surge on trips made by millions of Iranians during the Norouz holiday, which ran for two weeks from March 20, despite health guidelines warning them not to travel.

Last year, officials enacted tight restrictions on gatherings and the movement of people across the country during the Persian New Year.

Iran has avoided imposing a full lockdown on its population of 82 million since the pandemic started more than a year ago, resorting instead to temporary bans on travel or businesses.

The country launched its vaccination drive in February.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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