Tehran, 28 July 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Iran has again recorded a record number of deaths related to the coronavirus in one day, with 235 fatalities in the past 24 hours, a Health Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.
The total number of deaths rose to 16,147, spokesperson Sima Lari told state TV. In the same time period, 2,600 new infections were recorded, taking the total to almost 300,000 cases.
According to the Ministry of Health, the easing introduced by President Hassan Rowhani since May has led to the population no longer taking the regulations and the pandemic seriously, with the number of cases rising again in recent weeks.
There have also been disagreements within the Iranian government regarding the yearly Ashura ceremony.
President Hassan Rowhani has indicated he will allow the commemorations, though the Health Ministry has raised doubts.
“People’s health should be respected just as much as religious tradition,” Deputy Health Minister Ali-Reza Raeisi was cited as saying by press agency ISNA.
The annual event routinely draws huge crowds. While clerics and Rowhani insist on it taking place, health experts say new infections will be unavoidable if they celebrations go ahead as usual.
Ashura is marked by Muslims to commemorate the day Moses was saved from the Egyptians. However, for Shiite Muslims, the day has special significance, as it marks the death of Imam Hussein, one of the grandsons of the prophet Mohammed, at the Battle of Karbala in Iraq in 680 AD.