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Iran sets record for coronavirus cases for third straight day

Iran sets record for coronavirus cases for third straight day
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Iran set a record for coronavirus cases for the third straight day, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.

The nation reported 22,586 new cases on Thursday, pushing its cumulative total to over 2 million.

The record tops the previous grim milestone of 20,954 new cases that was set on Wednesday. Prior to Wednesday’s total, Iran’s record was 17,430 new cases, which was set on Tuesday.

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Iran on Thursday also reported 185 new deaths, increasing the cumulative death toll to 63,884, AP reports.

The surge comes after millions in the nation traveled and congregated during Nowruz, the country’s new year holiday, despite public health guidelines.

Iran has seen a relatively slow rollout of vaccines. 

President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday said Iran was struggling to pay for vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX program due to U.S. sanctions that blocked access to Tehran’s assets in foreign bank accounts, The Washington Post reported

“We were one of the first countries to place an order on time,” Rouhani said of the COVAX program, the Post reported, citing the Islamic Republic News Agency. “The United States has blocked us and delayed the transfer of our money. … That’s why our turn [with] COVAX is a little behind.”