Iran begins new lockdown as coronavirus deaths reach record levels

Iran, coronavirus, lockdown
A girl wearing a face mask in Iran

Iran has recorded a record high number of deaths from Covid-19 for a second day in a row.

The official Irna news agency said that 655 patients died in the previous 24 hours, and health workers found some 41,194 new cases over the same period.

On Sunday, Iran reported 620 deaths.

The report came as the country imposed a five-day lockdown starting on Monday.

It includes a travel ban on personal cars crossing between provinces.

The new surge has been fuelled by the contagious Delta variant.

Iranian authorities say less than 40% of the population follows measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

Iranian health officials have regularly warned that hospitals in the capital, Tehran, and other major cities are overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.

This is the fifth wave of coronavirus infections as the country struggles to vaccinate its people.

Some 4% of Iranians have been fully vaccinated.

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