Call for mandatory masks as Iran virus toll nears 10,000

An Iranian official called for mask-wearing to be made compulsory as the country on Wednesday reported its highest daily coronavirus death toll in more than two-and-a-half months, SIA reports.

"It is certainly required that the wearing of masks becomes mandatory," said Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi.

"If we use masks, especially in closed spaces and gatherings, we can very much reduce the virus' spread," he added in remarks broadcast on television.

Iran reported its first Covid-19 cases on February 19, and it has since struggled to contain the outbreak at the death toll nears 10,000. Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on Wednesday that the 133 fatalities in the past 24 hours brought the country's overall virus death toll to 9,996. That made it the deadliest day in Iran since April 6, when the government reported 136 virus fatalities.

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