ANKARA

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus rose to 6,340, as 63 new deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, state media said on Tuesday. 

A total of 1,323 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total cases to 99,970, Iran’s state broadcaster reported, citing a statement by the Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour.

Though the number of new cases has slowed in recent weeks, over the last few days they have seen an uptick.

Jahanpour said 80,475 people have recovered so far and been discharged from hospitals, while 2,685 other patients are in critical condition.

Nearly 520,000 tests have been conducted in the country, he added.

In Iran, one of the Mideast countries hardest hit by the pandemic, COVID-19 was first detected in the city of Qom on Feb. 19 and then spread throughout the country.

The government decided against imposing a total lockdown as seen in many other countries, but did close educational institutions and banned cultural, religious, and sports gatherings.

Since April 11, authorities in phases have allowed the reopening of businesses closed as part of measures to contain the virus’ spread.

The state also plans to reopen mosques in parts of the country that have been consistently free of the virus.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

Over 3.59 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll nearing 252,000 and more than 1.17 million recoveries, according to data compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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