Iran passed has passed the grim milestone of 40,000 coronavirus deaths, with the latest 10,000 added in less than a month, as the country struggles to contain its most widespread wave of infection yet
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Thursday passed the grim milestone of 40,000 coronavirus deaths, with the latest 10,000 added in less than a month, as the country struggles to contain its most widespread wave of infection yet.
The death toll has soared in recent weeks, shattering records in the nation that for months has suffered the worst outbreak in the Middle East.
But the government has resisted shutting down the country, desperate to salvage an economy cratered by unprecedented American sanctions that effectively bar Iran from selling its oil internationally. The Trump administration reimposed sanctions in 2018 after withdrawing from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Earlier this week, authorities ordered a month-long nightly business curfew in Tehran and 30 other major cities and towns, asking nonessential shops to keep their workers home. Still, enforcement in the sprawling metropolis remains a challenge.
As deaths continue to surge with no end in sight, authorities have come under pressure. The national coronavirus task force will consider a two-week nationwide lockdown proposal this weekend, Deputy Health Minister Qassem Janbabaei told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
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