TEHRAN - Iran has shattered its daily record for new coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, with 20,954 new cases reported on Wednesday.
The country is in the midst of one of the most severe surges of the coronavirus to date, following a two-week public holiday for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which drove millions to travel to vacation spots across the country and congregate in homes in defiance of government health guidelines.
For months, Iran has struggled to curb the worst outbreak of the coronavirus in the Middle East. Wednesday's case count brought the total number of infected in the outbreak to 1,984,348, according to official figures. Iran Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari says another 193 people had died in the past 24 hours, raising the country’s death toll to 63,699.
Wednesday's infection count easily surpassed the previous record set Tuesday of 17,430 infections. That signals the biggest surge in over four months.