Iran passes daily coronavirus record as cases soar to nearly 21,000, says health ministry

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Authorities have blamed the surge above all on millions of Iranians ignoring guidelines and travelling or holding family gatherings during Nowruz. — West Asia News Agency/Ali Khara via Reuters
Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Authorities have blamed the surge above all on millions of Iranians ignoring guidelines and travelling or holding family gatherings during Nowruz. — West Asia News Agency/Ali Khara via Reuters

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TEHRAN, April 7 — Iran passed its daily record of coronavirus infection today as cases reached 20,954 - up by more than 3,500 from the previous day, the Iranian health ministry said.

Authorities have blamed the surge above all on millions of Iranians ignoring guidelines and travelling or holding family gatherings during Nowruz, the two-week Iranian New Year holiday that began on March 20.

Iran, the pandemic’s epicentre in the Middle East, has reported a total of 1,984,348 cases. Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 193 people had died from the coronavirus since yesterday, bringing the total of fatalities to 63,699.

The daily cases yesterday was 17,430.

Iran said last month that a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic had taken hold in western and central areas of the country, triggered by widespread travel and celebrations during the Iranian New Year holidays.

Authorities have imposed night-time driving curfews in dozens of cities and towns to try to discourage gatherings. (Reporting by Newsroom, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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