As many as 156 new coronavirus-related fatalities have raised the death toll in Iran to 18,132, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

A total of 2,450 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 322,567, according to ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

She said more than 279,000 patients have recovered so far, while 4,136 are still hospitalized in critical condition.

“Over 2.61 million tests have been conducted in Iran to date,” Lari added.

Since appearing in China last December, the virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

More than 19.11 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with over 715,100 deaths, and nearly 11.58 million recoveries.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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