Iran registers record single-day death toll from COVID-19

Iran records 496 new deaths in 24 hours, surpassing the previous most deadly day in mid-November.

Ben Ariel ,

Coronavirus test swab
Coronavirus test swab

Iran on Monday registered its highest single-day death toll from COVID-19, bringing the total number of fatalities to over 70,000, The Associated Press reports.

The report said 496 new deaths were tallied since Sunday, surpassing Iran’s previous most deadly day in mid-November when 486 were counted.

Officials counted 21,026 more confirmed cases over the same 24-hour period that put the total confirmed cases at about 2,417,230 since the outbreak in February last year.

Meanwhile on Monday, Health Minister Saeed Namaki warned the death toll may rise in the coming weeks, saying, “We will have two to three bitter weeks ahead that should be managed in a proper way.”

Iranian officials say the Indian variant of the disease is spreading in the country on the heels of the UK variant that arrived in Iran from Iraq in March.

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

Earlier this month, the country began a new lockdown amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.

On April 10, Iran began a partial lockdown in the capital Tehran and other major cities amid a fourth wave of infections, a worrisome trend after more than a year of the country battling the Middle East’s worst outbreak.

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.

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 Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.

COVAX, an international collaboration to deliver the vaccine equitably across the world, recently delivered its first shipment to Iran from the Netherlands, containing 700,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses.

Iran has so far imported foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba to cover over 1.2 million people. It has also developed several homegrown vaccines, though the effectiveness of those is not known.