Iran reports record 162 COVID-19 single-day death toll

A pedestrian wearing a protective mask due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, walks along a street in the Iranian capital Tehran on June 28, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 29 June 2020

Iran reports record 162 COVID-19 single-day death toll

  • "This increase in numbers is in fact a reflection of our overall performance," a health ministry spokeswoman said

TEHRAN: Iran reported on Monday 162 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest single-day toll since the country's outbreak began in February.
"This increase in numbers is in fact a reflection of our overall performance, both in terms of reopening and in compliance with health protocols," health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said at a news conference.
The previous record daily toll of 158 deaths was reported by health authorities in early April.
Official figures have shown an upward trajectory in new confirmed cases since early May, when Iran hit a near two-month low in daily recorded infections.
Iran reported its first COVID-19 cases on February 19 and it has since struggled to contain the outbreak, the deadliest in the Middle East.
Lari announced an additional 2,536 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 225,205. The overall official death toll is now at 10,670
Iranian authorities have refrained from enforcing full lockdowns to stop the pandemic's spread and the use of masks and protective equipment has been optional in most areas.
Iran closed schools, cancelled public events and banned movement between its 31 provinces in March, but the government progressively lifted restrictions from April to try to reopen its sanctions-hit economy.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that "momentum and effort has waned among some of the people and authorities" to combat the virus, warning the country's economic problems would worsen if the disease spreads unchecked.
Authorities launched a campaign over the weekend to encourage people to wear masks and decreed mandatory mask-wearing "in covered spaces where there are gatherings" from Saturday, the beginning of the week in Iran.
The increasing virus caseload has seen some previously unscathed provinces classified as "red" -- the highest level on Iran's colour-coded risk scale -- with authorities allowing them to reimpose restrictive measures if required.
According to Lari, the provinces of Khuzestan, Hormozgan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Boushehr, West and East Azerbaijan and Khorasan Razavi are classified as "red".
The provinces of Ilam, Lorestan and Golestan are on alert, she added.


Adidas says its shutting down in Lebanon due to economic crisis

Updated 4 min 46 sec ago

Adidas says its shutting down in Lebanon due to economic crisis

CAIRO: Adidas will close down its branches in Lebanon by the end of the year as the country’s economic crisis slips out of control. The sportswear giant has joined many popular brands who began withdrawing from the Lebanese market due to the turbulent economic situation caused by a currency collapse. Adidas said it would no longer operate its own stores in Lebanon and that it would also close its head office. “This is due to the ongoing economic challenges in the country,” the statement said. “We would like to thank our employees for their many contributions and our partners for our productive collaboration.”

The crisis has prompted others such as Mike Sport, a sports equipment retailer in Lebanon, to shut down given the ongoing financial crisis. French restaurant Couqley has also said it was closing its branches “until the exchange rate has stabilized.” Lebanon is going through an unprecedented economic and financial crisis that has seen the local currency lose more than 80 percent of its value against the US dollar in recent months amid soaring prices and popular unrest.