Iran's coronavirus death toll surpasses 25,000
The death toll from Covid-19 in Iran has surpassed 25,000, the highest total in the Middle East, with infection rates continuing to surge.
The Healthy Ministry reported 175 deaths on Thursday and 3,521 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Lari told state television that 5,000 people had died from the coronavirus in the past month and 80,000 new infections had been registered, resulting in a total of 25,015 deaths and 436,319 confirmed cases.
Alireza Zali, the anti-coronavirus coordinator for Tehran, previously said forecasts showed the country was "moving towards a third wave of the coronavirus", with the capital city being the most vulnerable location.
The Islamic Republic has faced the worst outbreak of Covid-19 in the Middle East since cases were first reported in February.
Infection rates began to decline in May with the imposition of strict lockdown measures, before recently resurging.
Still, with those measures and some other restrictions being lifted, the country is now reporting an increase of cases in most provinces, including the capital Tehran.
President Hassan Rouhani has referred to the pandemic as a long-term problem and said lockdowns are not ideal, but seems to be shifting amid the renewed rise in cases.
"If there is a new wave of infections, we will be forced to reintroduce some restrictions," he wrote on his official website.
The crisis comes at a time of increased pressure on the cost of living for ordinary people, with crippling sanctions hitting Iran's currency and driving up the prices of everyday goods, including food and medicine.