Iran on Saturday confirmed 71 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide death toll to 8,730.

A further 2,410 people tested positive for COVID-19, raising the overall count to 184,955, Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari said.

A total of 146,748 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals so far, he said.

Some 1.21 million tests have been done in the country to date, Lari said.

Iran’s daily number of COVID-19 cases dropped to around 800 in early May, but since authorities eased restrictions, daily figures have shown an upward trend, especially in the southwestern Khuzestan province.

Despite the rising number of infections, government employees have resumed work, and mosques reopened across the Middle Eastern country.

The pandemic has claimed more than 426,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China last December. The US, Brazil, and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries.

Nearly 7.7 million cases have been reported worldwide, while more than 3.36 million people have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Faruk Zorlu.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.