Coronavirus: Iran's death toll approaches 10,000

Infections have surged since relaxation of lockdown measures began

An Iranian woman wearing a protective face mask checks the temperature of a worshipper before attending the Friday prayers in Qarchak Jamee Mosque, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran province, in Qarchak, Iran, June 12, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Ali Khara via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
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Iran is approaching 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, its Ministry of Health reported.

Almost 200,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in the country and the number deaths in one day topped 100 for the first time in two months on Sunday.

After starting to gradually ease its lockdown in mid-April, Iran has had a sharp rise in infections in recent weeks, with five provinces rated red zones, or coronavirus hot spots.

Iran recorded 87 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 9,272. Infections in the country has reached 197,647, with a reported 156,991 recoveries.

"The statistics show that in recent days every 12 to 15 minutes an Iranian lost their life because of corona," the Iranian judiciary news agency Mizan tweeted on Thursday.

The Iranian Parliament's research centre issued a report in April that suggested the number of coronavirus death might be almost twice as many as those announced by the health ministry.

Despite the recent surge in infections and deaths, Friday prayers were scheduled to resume in Tehran starting next week, the official Irna news agency said.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iran would reimpose restrictions to stem the surge in cases if health regulations were not observed.

But footage on state TV in recent days showed many Iranians in shopping malls and on public transport not practising social distancing or wearing masks or gloves.