Covid-19 Casualties Cross 18,000

Covid-19 Casualties Cross 18,000Covid-19 Casualties Cross 18,000

The number of deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic in Iran topped 18,200 on Saturday, health officials said, as Iran continued to hold university entrance tests taken by over two million across the country.
Overnight deaths dropped for the fifth straight day, reaching 132 on Saturday, taking the national death toll to 18,264, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA during her daily update.
“Within a 24-hour period, 2,125 more were confirmed to have contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Nearly half were admitted to hospital, bringing Iran’s caseload to 324,692,” she added.
After months-long wrangle over the national exams, 695,000 over the last weekend competed for seats in MA programs. Some 82% of candidates showed up to take the test despite the deadly pandemic.
According to Health Ministry officials, Covid-19-related protocols were observed by 80% in test centers, but on Thursday night, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf tweeted that he has received reports on “serious flaws” in adherence to safety guidelines.
“I will follow up on the concerns of candidates and their families,” he said.
According to Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi, 91% of test takers were happy with the enforcement of measures that had been devised by the ministry to assure their safety. 
Over 282,000 have survived the respiratory illness and 4,148 were in critical condition as of Saturday. 
Iran has administered 2.66 million diagnostic tests since the start of the outbreak, Lari said.
The spokeswoman advised the public to refrain from traveling to Khorasan Razavi, Golestan, Mazandaran and Gilan, all tourist hotspots in northern and eastern Iran.
Worldwide, coronavirus patients surpassed 19.5 million and deaths reached 725,000.

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