At least 169 more coronavirus-related fatalities have raised the death toll in Iran to 19,331, the Health Ministry said Friday.

Some 2,501 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, pushing the overall count up to 338,825, according to ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

She said more than 293,811 patients have recovered so far, while 3,956 are hospitalized in critical condition. Over 2.81 million tests have been conducted in Iran to date.

Iran is struggling to contain the pandemic since February, when the first cases were confirmed in the holy city of Qom.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 760,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since last December.

Almost 21 million cases have been reported around the world, with the highest numbers in the US, Brazil, India, and Russia, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

More than half of all patients worldwide – over 13 million – have recovered so far, the data shows.

* Writing by Gozde Bayar

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