As many as 212 new coronavirus-related fatalities have raised the death toll in Iran to 17,617, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

A further 2,751 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, raising the case tally to 314,786, according to ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

She said more than 272,535 patients have recovered so far, while 4,132 are still hospitalized in critical condition.

Over 2.56 million tests have been conducted in Iran to date, Lari added.

The surge in daily fatalities has increased fears of a collapse of Iran’s already overwhelmed health care system.

The virus that first appeared in Wuhan, China last December has spread to 188 countries and regions, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

More than 18.2 million virus cases have been confirmed worldwide, with over 694,000 deaths, and nearly 11 million recoveries.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.