(Reuters) – The number of daily deaths from the new coronavirus outbreak topped 100 in Iran for the first time in two months on Sunday, according to health ministry numbers.
There were 107 deaths in the past twenty four hours, taking the total to 8,837. The total number of cases in the country has reached 187,427.
“Today, it was very painful for us to announce a triple digit statistic. As the honorable minister has said, this virus is unpredictable and shifting,” Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari said in an announcement on state TV.
“Observe health protocols, take social distancing seriously, avoid gatherings and trips that aren’t essential and inshallah in the coming days we will see the statistic come down to double digits and even single digits.”
The last time Iran announced more than 100 deaths in a day was on April 13, when the tally was 111.
Iran will reimpose restrictions to stem a surge in coronavirus cases if health regulations are not observed, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday.
After gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April, Iran has seen a sharp rise of new daily infections in recent weeks.
Seven provinces where infections have been on the rise are currently considered red zones, according to the health ministry.
Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Mark Potter
Image: Worshippers wearing protective face masks offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a mosque to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)