Tehran: Iran on Sunday announced 129 new deaths caused by the novel coronavirus, raising to 1,685 the official death toll in one of the worst-hit countries along with Italy and China.
Health ministry spokesman Kianouche Jahanpour said more than 1,028 new cases had been recorded in the past 24 hours and a total of 21,638 people had now tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, in messages marking the Persian New Year holiday Nowruz, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani both had acknowledged that the past year had been difficult.
Khamenei paid tribute to the sacrifices of the country’s doctors and nurses in tackling the coronavirus, which has infected 18,407 people in Iran and killed 1,284, according to an official tally.
He prayed that the coming 12 months would see “great victories” after a “turbulent” year that saw open hostilities between Tehran and its archfoe Washington.