Iran on Monday confirmed 70 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide death toll to 8,351.

A further 2,043 people tested positive for COVID-19, raising the overall count to 173,832, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.

According to the spokesman, 136,360 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals so far, while 2,619 patients remain in critical condition.

Some 1.1 million tests have been conducted in the country so far, according to the spokesman.

Iran sees an upward trend in daily infections in many provinces, especially in the southwestern Khuzestan province.

Iran’s daily number of COVID-19 cases dropped to around 800 in early May, but daily figures show an upward trend in recent days after authorities took measures to ease restrictions.

Despite the rising number of infections, government employees have resumed work, and mosques reopened across the Middle Eastern country. Shopping malls are now open also after 6 p.m.

The pandemic has claimed more than 403,100 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China last December. The US, Brazil and Russia are currently the world’s worst-hit countries.

Over 7.03 million cases have been reported worldwide, while more than 3.14 million people have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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