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EghtesadOnline: The tally of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran neared 190,000 on Monday, a health official announced, as the pandemic appeared to be peaking in more provinces.

An additional 2,449 infections in a 24-hour period took the national total to 189,876, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.

One-third of all new cases are from the southwestern region where a state of emergency has been declared due to the high transmission rate of the deadly virus, according to a lawmaker from Khuzestan, Seyyed Karim Hosseini.

Calling for a coronavirus taskforce to be stationed in his constituency, Hosseini said, “We need to ring the alarm bell and ask for help. The province’s intensive care unit beds are filled to capacity.”

During her daily briefing, Lari pointed out that five provinces have a “red” status due to the surge in infections. 

“Hospitalizations have been picking up speed in the provinces of Tehran, Khorasan Razavi and Bushehr,” she added.

Iranian authorities have split the country into three zones based on the number of infections, with “red” indicating a dangerous level of Covid-19 transmission.

Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei also confirmed that several provinces have currently reached a peak. 

“This does not mean a second wave. Provinces that had not peaked before are peaking now,” he added.

Overnight deaths from the outbreak remained above the 100 mark for the second consecutive day, with 113 registered fatalities bringing the total to 8,950.



Reasons for the Rise 

In a press conference on Monday, Rabiei outlined the root causes of the recent surge in cases, pointing to inter-city travels and the illusion of a return to normalcy.

Rabiei said, “The trips in Eid-al-Fitr holidays [May 23-24] are showing their effects now. Effects of treating the coronavirus outbreak as if it has ended are showing now.”

He, however, reminded that Iran has gone from 2,000 tests a day to 26,000, one of the other reasons for the rise in patients.

To identity infected patients, the Health Ministry has carried out 1.26 million diagnostic tests. Over 150,000 have recovered from the respiratory disease and some 2,700 are in critical condition.

Worldwide Covid-19 cases crossed 8 million on Monday and the death toll rose to 436,000.


Iran coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic