With 240,438 COVID-19 cases, Iran made the use of mouth masks compulsory in crowded confined spaces

Iran this Sunday registered a new daily record of deaths by COVID-19, 163, on a day in which the mandatory use of masks in crowded confined spaces to try to contain the pandemic.

The Ministry of Health spokeswoman, Sima Sadat Lari, reported that in the last 24 hours 163 deaths were recorded, bringing the total in the country since the outbreak began to 11,571.

On June 29 there were 162 deaths, which was the highest number to the record for this day since April 4, when the deaths were 158.

Iran, the Middle East country most affected by the pandemic, managed to reduce its daily data on infections and deaths between mid-April and early May, when the figures were three and two digits respectively, but those have rebounded.

Woman with mask on the streets of Iran. . photo

Since yesterday, according to Lari, 2,560 new cases of contagion were counted, of which 1,295 patients had to be hospitalized, which increases the total number of patients to 240,438.

Faced with this upward trend in infections, the Iranian government decided to impose the mandatory use of masks starting today and has launched a campaign in the last week to raise awareness of their importance.

The Vice Minister of Health, Iraj Harirchí, explained that those responsible for the different government offices, banks or public transport will be responsible for implementing the measure.

At least in government offices, the president, Hasan Rohaní, already said yesterday that no citizen without a mask would be treated, while Harirchí said today that officials will be sent home in that case.

The deputy minister indicated that in recent days in Tehran, which is on alert, the use of the mask has multiplied by two.

As Efe could verify, the employees of several stores and supermarkets in the capital began today to wear masks, but they did not ask customers to put them on.

The alert phase is prior to the red state, which implies that it is a high risk area due to the strong incidence of the new coronavirus.

As of today, of the total of 31 provinces, nine of them are on alert, including the central one in Isfahan, and another nine in the red state, all located on the western, southern and eastern borders of the country.

In those nine red-state provinces, the Ministry of Health has given local authorities permission to re-impose restrictions for a week.

Harirchí explained that in some areas restaurants, cafeterias, cinemas, theaters and mosques have been closed and that in others, events such as cultural and religious ceremonies, weddings and funerals have been canceled.

With information from .

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