DUBAI, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Iran on Monday reported 337 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, the highest daily tally since February, pushing the death toll in the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country to 30,712.
Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 4,251 new cases were identified in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total number of identified cases to 534,631.
To fight rising infections, the government has extended restrictions and closures in the capital Tehran, where schools, mosques, shops, restaurants and other public institutions have been closed since Oct. 3. Iranian health officials have warned that daily deaths could hit 600 if Iranians failed to adhere to health protocols in public. Mask-wearing has became mandatory in public in Tehran, where the infection rate has been highest and violators would be fined.
Officials plan to impose the same restrictions in other large cities with high infection rates.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by William Maclean)