Iran says Covid-19 cases surpass 90,000 as death toll declines

The number of new coronavirus cases in Iran has exceeded 90,000, according to official figures released on Sunday, as Tehran announced its lowest number of new deaths in weeks.

Health officials have recorded 1,153 new cases of COVID-19 disease since noon on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 90,481, Ministry of Health spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said during a briefing daily press release.

Sixty more deaths were recorded, the total death toll reaching 5,710, he added.

This is the lowest number of deaths officially declared in the country since March 10.

Iran announced its first new cases of coronavirus in February and is the most affected country in the Middle East.

Jahanpour said the Iranians should continue to respect health measures and social distancing, despite the drop in the death toll.

There has been speculation abroad that the actual number of coronavirus deaths and infections in Iran may be higher, and even some local officials have questioned the figures reported.

Gradual reopening of companies

Since April 11, the authorities have authorized the gradual reopening of certain companies and have relaxed certain restrictions on domestic travel put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Schools, universities, mosques, Shiite shrines, cinemas and sports stadiums remain closed, however.

Meanwhile, some health officials in the Islamic Republic have warned of the risk of another outbreak.

Alireza Zali, the capital’s anti-coronavirus coordinator, criticized the “hasty reopenings” that could “create new waves of disease in Tehran and complicate efforts to contain the epidemic”, in remarks quoted by the agency as saying on Saturday ISNA semi-official press release.

Another senior Ministry of Health official expressed similar fears for the other hard-hit provinces.

Iranian authorities no longer provide provincial breakdowns of coronavirus cases and deaths, but Tehran province is considered one of the most affected.