'Truly tragic': Iran's supreme leader on resurgence in coronavirus cases; urges everyone to fight against it

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 12, 2020, 06.29 PM(IST)

File photo Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photograph:( Reuters )

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"Let everyone play their part in the best way to break the chain of transmission in the short term and save the country," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said. 

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the resurgence of coronavirus pandemic "truly tragic" on Sunday while holding a video conference with other lawmakers. Iranian leader urged the citizens to eradicate the worst outbreak in the country. 

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"Let everyone play their part in the best way to break the chain of transmission in the short term and save the country," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said. 

Iran, despite reporting its first case in February, is struggling to contain the outbreak and has witnessed over 12,800 deaths. 

This was Khamenei's first speech in the new parliament which took office at the end of May, dominated by conservatives and ultraconservatives elected in February elections.  

Iran's supreme leader praised the health workers for their initiatives and "their sacrifices".

But he also strongly criticised "some people who do not even do something as simple as wearing a mask", saying he felt "ashamed" of such behaviour. 

According to figures announced Sunday, 194 deaths from the COVID-19 disease and 2,186 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours. 

The health ministry announced a record 221 deaths in a single day on Thursday. 

In total, 257,303 cases have been reported in the country, including 12,829 deaths, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said Sunday in a televised press conference. 

The country had all its schools and cancelled the public events in the wake of the virus but resumed all the activities and lift the restrictions slowly since April.