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Iran has new daily high in virus deaths -- 251

In this April 30, 2020 file photo, a woman wearing mask and gloves, prays at the grave of her mother who died from the new coronavirus, at a cemetery in the outskirts of the city of Babol, in northern Iran.

EBRAHIM NOROOZI/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 11, 2020

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has announced its highest single-day death toll from the coronavirus — 251.

Health Ministry spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari said Sunday that Iran's total death toll from COVID-19 now stands at 28,544, making Iran the hardest-hit country in its region. It's previous daily high for deaths of 239 came just four days earlier.

Officials reported 3,822 newly confirmed coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, raising its total during the pandemic to 500,075. Among those recently infected is the head of Iran's atomic energy organization, the latest senior official to test positive for the virus.

The government has largely resisted imposing widescale lockdowns as the economy teeters from continued U.S. economic sanctions that effectively bar Iran from selling its oil internationally. Iran's currency plunged to its lowest level ever Sunday.