Iran reports 258 coronavirus deaths, highest daily toll since Dec


FILE PHOTO: A view of closed shops in Tehran Bazaar following the tightening of restrictions to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases, Tehran, Iran April 10, 2021. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran reported 258 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, the highest daily toll since early December.

That brings the total number of fatalities from the coronavirus to 64,490 in Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East.

Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 21,063 new cases were identified in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of identified cases since the pandemic began to 2,070,141.

"Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours 258 people have died from the virus," Lari said. State TV said it was the country's highest daily death toll since Dec. 10.

Iran's Health Minister Saeed Namaki, in a televised news conference, warned about more fatalities in the coming week if Iranians fail to adhere to health protocols.

On Saturday, Tehran imposed a 10-day lockdown across most of the country to curb the spread of a fourth wave of the coronavirus. The lockdown affects 23 of the country’s 31 provinces.

Businesses, schools, theatres and sports facilities have been forced to shut and gatherings are banned during the holy fasting month of Ramadan that begins on Wednesday in Iran.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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