Iran to Impose Its Fifth COVID Lockdown as Cases Surge

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An Iranian health official fills a syringe with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Imam Khomeini Hospital, in Tehran, Iran, February.
An Iranian health official fills a syringe with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Iran, February. Credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY / REUTERS

Iran on Monday imposed a week-long lockdown on the capital, Tehran, and the surrounding region as the country struggles with another surge in the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported.

The lockdown – the nation's fifth so far – will begin on Tuesday and last until next Monday. All bazaars, market places and public offices will close, as well as movie theaters, gyms and restaurants in both Tehran province and the neighboring province of Alborz.

Iran reported 25,441 new cases on Monday and 213 deaths over the past day, bringing the overall death toll to 87,374 from among more than 3.5 million confirmed cases in the pandemic.

During an earlier surge in cases, in April, Iran reported the highest daily number of cases, 25,582. At the time, its daily death tolls surged to around 400, below the grim record of 486 reached last November.

Iranian authorities have lately been warning about a new surge, fueled by the fast-spreading delta variant. In sanctions-hit Iran, which has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the Middle East, less than 2 percent of the population of 84 million has received both doses, mainly of the imported Russian and Chinese vaccines.

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