Iran says coronavirus death toll passes 30,000 in Mideast region’s worst outbreak

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Iran announced Saturday that its death toll from the coronavirus has passed the milestone of 30,000 killed, in what has been the Mideast region’s worst outbreak.

The announcement by Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari saw Iran put its total death toll from the outbreak at 30,123 killed, with 253 new deaths being added to the official count.

Lari added that there are 4,721 virus patients that are in critical condition.

Iran has been struggling with the coronavirus since announcing its first cases in February, with more than 526,000 confirmed cases to date.

In recent weeks, Iran has seen daily death tolls spike to their highest-ever levels, sparking increasing concern even as government officials continue to resist a total lockdown for fear of cratering the economy, which has been hard-hit by U.S. sanctions.

On Wednesday, Iranian officials announced a travel ban to and from five major cities, including the capital of Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad, that they said aimed to contain the virus’ spread.

The coronavirus has also spread to some of the highest levels of Iran’s government, which includes many older men. Among those recently infected is the head of the country’s atomic energy organization, while Iran’ …

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