Coronavirus: Iran says 138 health care workers have died fighting pandemic

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Iran says 138 health care professionals have died so far while battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The semiofficial ISNA news agency on Wednesday quoted Hossein Kermanpour, spokesman for the regulatory body for Iranian health care professionals, saying the death toll includes 90 doctors and 28 nurses.

Iran on Tuesday reported a new single-day record death toll of 229 from the novel coronavirus, after weeks of rising numbers in the Middle East’s worst-hit country.

“Sadly, we lost 229 of our compatriots to the COVID-19 infection in the past 24 hours,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

“This raises the overall toll to 14,634,” she said in televised remarks.

Iran announced its previous record COVID-19 death toll of 221 on July 9.

The Islamic republic has been battling a resurgence of the virus, with official figures showing a rise in both new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.

Lari also raised the country’s caseload to 278,827, with 2,625 more people testing positive for the disease in the past day.

Iran reported its first cases in the holy city of Qom in February.

The rising toll has prompted authorities to make masks mandatory in enclosed public spaces and to allow the hardest-hit provinces to reimpose restrictive measures, with Tehran included.

Iran closed schools, canceled public events and banned movements between its provinces in March, but gradually lifted restrictions from April to try to reopen its sanctions-hit economy.

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