The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran passed the two million mark Thursday, the health ministry announced, as the daily caseload reached a new record high.
The virus has infected 2,006,934 people in Iran and killed 63,884, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in televised remarks, adding that 22,586 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours.
Authorities have blamed the surge above all on millions of Iranians ignoring guidelines and travelling or holding family gatherings during Nowruz, the two-week Iranian New Year holiday that began on March 20.
Iran, the pandemic’s epicentre in the Middle East, has reported a total of 1,984,348 cases. Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 193 people had died from the coronavirus since Tuesday, bringing the total of fatalities to 63,699.
The daily cases on Tuesday was 17,430.
Iran said last month that a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic had taken hold in western and central areas of the country, triggered by widespread travel and celebrations during the Iranian New Year holidays.
Authorities have imposed night-time driving curfews in dozens of cities and towns to try to discourage gatherings.