Coronavirus chaos: Terrifying data sparks panic as ANOTHER country falls to second wave

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Health officials insisted they had brought the virus under control a month ago but the number of infections has been gathering pace ever since.According to the latest health ministry data there were 3,574 confirmed new infections in 24 hours – an increase of 440 on the previous day. The previous daily record was 3,186 on March 30.

The outbreak is not over yet and at any moment it may come back stronger than before

Saeed Namaki

Iran was one of the first in the Middle East to be gripped by the disease but despite the steadily rising infection rate, authorities have been progressively lifting controls on shops, mosques, schools, offices and travel.

The border with Turkey was also being opened for haulage traffic yesterday.

Leaders have been increasingly critical of the public and blame them for spreading coronavirus by ignoring the continued restrictions, especially in workplaces.

President Hassan Rouhani said: “If the rules are not obeyed the government would be forced to restore the quarantine situation again, disrupting normal life and inflicting serious damage on the entire national economy.

“If in any part of the country these warnings are not taken seriously and, God forbid, the outbreak of illness peaks again, the authorities will have to re-impose restrictions.

“This will create problems for the ordinary lives of citizens and also will bring serious economic damage to society.”

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The number of daily deaths has not risen at the same rate as new infections, giving some credence to the argument that the increased level of infections is partly a result of more widespread testing and better recording.

The official number of deaths recorded in the previous 24 hours was 59, taking the death toll to 8,071.

The highest official number of daily deaths was 158 on 4 April.

Officials now face a dilemma over whether to reimpose controls, a move that will be unpopular and damage the sanction-weakened economy, or hope that the second wave will somehow peter out.

Only 10 days ago the number of new infections was below 2,000, and the rapid rise in the last five days cannot be explained solely by widespread testing.

The virus was reported as being worst in the provinces of Khuzestan, Hormozgan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah.

All people in those regions were advised to wear face masks in public.

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Health Minister Saeed Namaki said: “People seem to think the coronavirus is over.

“The outbreak is not over yet and at any moment it may come back stronger than before.

“If our people fail to respect the health protocols we must prepare ourselves for the worst situation.”

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