Iran surpasses one million COVID-19 cases

The Islamic Republic recorded 49,348 COVID-19 deaths and 1,003,494 infections as of Thursday.

Ben Ariel ,


Iran said on Thursday that its novel coronavirus caseload surpassed one million, as authorities consider easing restrictions in many parts of the country, AFP reports.

The Islamic Republic had recorded 49,348 COVID-19 deaths and 1,003,494 infections since announcing its first cases in February, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

In the past 24 hours, the virus caused 358 new deaths in the country with a population of more than 80 million, and 13,922 cases of infection, she added.

The number of fatalities appears to have eased slightly in the past few days, however, after soaring to a daily average of more than 400 for much of November.

Iran has for months wrestled with the worst outbreak in the Middle East of COVID-19.

In a clear sign of the scale of the outbreak, dozens of top officials have fallen ill. At least 30 lawmakers have tested positive in recent months and some have died.

Iran’s former parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, tested positive for the virus in April and returned to work after convalescing for three weeks. The current speaker, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, tested positive in late October.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, contracted the coronavirus days earlier.

High-profile deaths in Iran from the coronavirus include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, a newly-elected member of parliament, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.