EghtesadOnline: Iran registered an all-time high of 251 deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, its biggest single-day rise in fatalities since the start of the pandemic as a third wave of infections pushed the national case tally past the 500,000 mark.
The daily count of deaths took the total toll to 28,544, the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
This is the second time in four days that the number of daily deaths has set a new record.
“Some 3,800 have contracted the virus known to cause Covid-19 and 1,700 were hospitalized,” Lari added, which brought the total number of confirmed cases to over half a million.
It took 45 days for coronavirus infections to rise from 300,000 to 400,000, and only 28 days for them to rise by another 100,000 past the 0.5 million mark, data compiled by the Health Ministry showed.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki on Sunday said the government’s new policy on mandatory facemasks in Tehran will expand to other large cities over the next few weeks.
Starting Saturday, residents of Tehran who refuse to wear face covering outside home are handed out fines of $1.6. The government is also tracking Covid-19 positive patients via smartphones to issue $6.4 penalty notices, if they breach self-quarantine.
The money collected from fines will finance the Health Ministry’s efforts to ward off the outbreak. Adherence to mitigation guidelines have dropped to an all-time low of less than 50% in Iran but officials are hopeful that the new punitive measures could encourage compliance.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi and the president’s deputy and head of the Planning and Budget Organization, Mohammad Baqer Nobakhat, were the latest Iranian politicians to catch the infectious virus.
Facial Recognition Systems
Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi on Saturday said they will repurpose facial recognition systems that are already in place to identify individuals who refrain from wearing face covering.
“Private cars will not be fined but if someone leaves the car without wearing masks, they will be subject to a fine,” Raeisi added, noting that taxi and bus drivers as well as their companies will face penalty for providing services to violators of Covid-19 regulations.
Police officers, Basij volunteer forces and Health Ministry inspectors are in charge of implementing the new restrictive measures.
More than 4,480 patients are in serious condition and 406,000 have recovered from the contagion.
Iran has carried out 4.3 million tests to identify infections and it will soon increase its daily testing capacity by 10,000.
Global coronavirus infections surpassed 37.5 million and fatalities rose to 1.07 million.
Iran has the 13th highest number of cases around the world.