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Iran’s virus deaths pass 30,000 but minister says actual toll may be double that

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran announced Saturday that its death toll from the coronavirus has passed the milestone of 30,000, in what has been the Mideast region’s worst outbreak.

The announcement by Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari saw Iran put its total death toll from the outbreak at 30,123, with 253 new deaths being added to the official count.

Lari added that there are 4,721 virus patients that are in critical condition.

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Iran has been struggling with the coronavirus since announcing its first cases in February, with more than 526,000 confirmed cases to date. Iranians wear face masks as a coronavirus pandemic precaution, in Iran’s capital Tehran on October 14, 2020. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)

In recent weeks, Iran has seen daily death tolls spike to their highest-ever levels, sparking increasing concern even as government officials continue to resist a total lockdown for fear of cratering the economy, which has been hard-hit by US sanctions.

On Wednesday, Iranian officials announced a travel ban to and from five major cities, including the capital Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad, that they said aimed to contain........

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