Iran recorded 31,814 coronavirus cases on Monday, in a record single-day infections since the pandemic broke out in the country last year.

The Middle East’s worst-hit country also recorded 322 fatalities, the highest daily fatalities in the fifth COVID-19 wave, taking the total death toll to 89,122. The total number of infections has jumped to 3.72 million.

A total of 3,566 people were hospitalized in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry. Officials have warned that the daily hospitalizations could reach 9,000 in the coming weeks as the fifth wave hasn’t peaked yet.

Iran has been grappling with a fresh wave of the pandemic driven by the Delta variant, which began in southern parts of the country last month, overwhelming the sanctions-battered healthcare system.

The slow pace of mass vaccination has made the fight more difficult. A total of 8.14 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 2.42 have been administered both doses.

To contain the raging fifth wave, Iran’s government last week imposed a week-long lockdown in Tehran, the worst-hit province. But health officials have criticized the lack of implementation of the lockdown measures.

At present, a total of 232 cities in Iran are marked in the “high-risk” category, while 117 cities are marked “risky” and 99 cities are categorized as “moderate risk”.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.