Covid-19 Casualties: Over 257,000 Cases, 12,800 Fatalities

Covid-19 Casualties: Over 257,000 Cases, 12,800 FatalitiesCovid-19 Casualties: Over 257,000 Cases, 12,800 Fatalities

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of 12,830 Iranians and infected over 257,000 since the virus began sweeping across the country, health officials announced.
Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari on Sunday reported 2,186 fresh coronavirus cases that pushed the national total to 257,303.The outbreak’s death toll stood at 12,829, up by 194 a day earlier, the third highest single-day rise in infections, ISNA reported.
Following the recent surge in infections and deaths, last week Iran mandated face coverings in enclosed public areas to slow the spread of the contagion.
“Adherence to mask wearing will significantly reduce cases in the following weeks. Homemade masks are also very effective,” Lari said.
Wearing a grey cloth facemask during a live television interview, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi used the platform to promote homemade facemasks and discuss the unprecedented number of overnight deaths.
The health official said it took six to eight weeks for the damaging consequences of last month’s travels to affect the coronavirus death rate. 
“We will see the effects of mask wearing on fatalities in late September,” he said.
Two long national holidays in late May and early June tempted many Iranians to travel around the country after authorities lifted many of the lockdown measures and ordered employees to return to work, which in turn “normalized” the outbreak and promoted complacency. 
Officials in the National Coronavirus Taskforce, including President Hassan Rouhani, partly blame normalization for the resurgence of the infectious disease in recent weeks. 
At least 13 of Iran’s 31 provinces have recorded a considerable increase in confirmed cases and deaths.



#I Wear Mask Campaign 

Harirchi provided updates on the success of the #I Wear Mask campaign that was launched last Saturday before the mandatory mask wearing order came into force.
“Some 75% are wearing masks in provincial capitals and over 50% are using them in Tehran,” he said. 
According to the official, those figures had dropped to 20% and 10% in the past couple of weeks, respectively.
While the deputy health minister was happy with the significant rise, he maintained that the numbers are not “enough”. According to Harirchi, the country can effectively control and contain the pandemic if compliance with mask wearing reaches 95%, “that is, from the moment one steps out of the house until they return.”
Nearly 220,000 have so far recovered from the deadly disease or have been discharged from hospitals and some 3,360 are currently in critical condition.
To identify infections, Iran has carried out 1.97 million diagnostic tests in the last five months.
Around the world, 12.86 million have contracted the respiratory illness and 569,000 have died.

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