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Iran death toll rises to nearly 7,000
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 05 - 2020

Iran has recorded nearly 7,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus with 51 fatalities reported during the last 24 hours. Also, the government on Sunday warned of infection clusters in new regions after it partially eased lockdown measures.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the COVID-19 overall death toll has reached 6,988 since Iran announced its first fatalities in the Shiite pilgrimage city of Qom in February.
Jahanpour warned that cases were rising "in the province of Lorestan, and to some extent in Kermanshah, Sistan and Baluchistan."
"Khuzestan province is still in a critical situation," he added.
The southwestern province has become Iran's new coronavirus focal point, with the most critical "red" ranking on the country's color-coded risk scale.
It is the only region so far where authorities have reimposed business lockdowns after a country-wide relaxation in April.
Iran stopped publishing provincial figures for the coronavirus last month, but the health ministry's latest report said there is a "rising trend or the beginning of a peak" in eight provinces, including Khuzestan.
The country on Friday reported its highest number of new infections in more than a month.
A virus taskforce official said Sunday that the increase was due to a surge in testing, not just of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms. -- Agencies


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