Iran reported 200 new deaths from the coronavirus, the most in a single day since the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak began in February. The previous record was Sunday’s toll of 163 deaths.
“Unfortunately in the past 24 hours we have lost 200 of our compatriots, bringing the total number of victims to 11,931,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.
“The increase in the number of deaths is very painful for all of us,” she said, adding that it was “the result of all of our behaviour and actions”.
Another 2,637 people have tested positive for the virus, taking the total official number of cases to 245,688, Lari said.
State TV showed disturbing images of dead bodies and families mourning at a Tehran cemetery in an effort to encourage people to use face masks.
“Last month we experienced two days with single-digit deaths, we were so happy… But unfortunately as you can see we are in a bad situation now,” said Saeed Khal, head of Tehran’s Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.
Officially recorded deaths and infections from the virus have been steadily rising since Iran reported a near-two-month low in daily recorded cases in early May. The uptick has prompted the government to make it mandatory to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.