TEHRAN

The increasing trend in the COVID-19 tally in Tehran is very alarming, a member of the Iranian coronavirus science council said Monday.

Speaking to the local media, Masoud Mardani criticized the Iranians’ failure to comply with the health protocols and social distance rules regarding the pandemic.

Mardani said the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the capital has increased enormously and the capacity of the health care system was exceeded.

“If the people continue to travel over the weekend, we will have to establish field hospitals,” he warned.

Iran reported over 379,100 cases and nearly 9,400 fatalities due to the coronavirus so far, according to data from statistics website Worldometer.

The number of recoveries has reached 307,482, while some 523 patients are hospitalized in critical condition.

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

In recent weeks, the country has seen a significant surge in new infections and fatalities after restrictions were eased, drawing criticism from health activists.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki earlier warned that the country was in the grip of a third wave after managing to overcome the first two waves.

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