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Iran records 655 COVID deaths in new daily record

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has recorded a record high number of deaths from COVID-19 for a second day in a row.

The official IRNA news agency says today that 655 patients died in the previous 24 hours, and health workers found some 41,194 new cases over the same period. Yesterday, Iran reported 620 deaths.

The report comes as the country imposes a five-day lockdown starting today. It includes a travel ban on personal cars crossing between provinces.

The new surge has been fueled by the contagious Delta variant. Iranian authorities say less than 40% of the population follows measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing. Iranian health officials have regularly warned that hospitals in the capital, Tehran, and other major cities are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

This is the fifth wave of coronavirus infections as the country struggles to vaccinate its people. Some 4% of Iranians have been fully vaccinated.

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