ANKARA

Iran reported over 2,200 more coronavirus cases and 57 more fatalities on Saturday, as the country’s president urged citizens to accept that limitations will continue in the near future.

The Health Ministry said 2,282 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, raising the overall count to 148,950.

The nationwide death toll stands at 7,734, while 2,533 patients remain in critical condition and 116,827 have recovered.

A total of 915,998 tests have been conducted in the country, according to the ministry.

The latest figures were announced after a televised address by President Hassan Rouhani on the country’s fight against COVID-19.

He urged citizens to not panic and follow guidelines, advising them not to expect a return to pre-pandemic conditions anytime soon.

“This pandemic changed a lot in the world in terms of politics, health, and culture. Due to the outbreak, the rules of globalization are all being questioned,” he said.

Noting a rise in infections in some areas after restrictions were eased, the president said people not following safety rules could endanger the fate of the entire country.

In some provinces, he added, the spike in cases was due to more tests being conducted.

Rouhani said the government was taking some measures to restore a semblance of normalcy, with mosques across the country now open for prayers and malls allowed to resume normal business hours.

“We have decided to open shopping malls in usual hours rather than until 6:00 p.m. as decided before,” he said.

Iran remains the Middle East’s worst-hit country in the pandemic, which has claimed over 365,500 lives in 188 countries and regions.

More than 5.95 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide and over 2.51 million people have recovered from the disease so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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