UPDATE, OCT. 29:
Setting a new record in the Coronavirus pandemic, Iran’s daily deaths surged by 20% on Wednesday.
The Health Ministry announced 415 deaths, breaking the mark of 346 set on Tuesday. The official total is now 33,714.
The Ministry announced 6,824 new cases, just below Tuesday’s record of 6,968. The official total is 588,648.
The Supreme Leader ignored the development, preferring to assail French President Emmanuel Macron for supposedly insulting Prophet Muhammad “in the name of freedom of expression.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Iran’s Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (pictured) is the latest politician to test positive for Coronavirus.
Qalibaf’s infection was confirmed Wednesday morning. He is now in quarantine.
The news came as the Islamic Republic set a new record for cases and deaths, with the virus surging throughout the country.
The Health Ministry reported 346 deaths on Tuesday, breaking the mark of 337 set on October 19 and again on Monday. The official death toll is now 33,299.
The Ministry announced 6,968 new cases, about 12% higher than the previous record of 6,191 on Sunday. The official total is 581,824.
The numbers have climbed since early May, soon after the Government lifted restrictions that closed businesses, mosques, schools and universities, and other public places.
But they have surged since last month. The level of 4,000 cases per day was broken on October 6. The number passed 5,000 on October 20 and 6,000 on October 23.
The Government had held out for months against reimposing restrictions from the first wave during the spring.
Having held out for months against the reimposition of restrictions, the Rouhani Government announced a mask mandate in early October, beginning in Tehran and extending to other cities.
Tehran authorities shut schools, mosques, and other public places from October 3, initially for a week but now indefinitely.
Two weeks ago Vice President Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht, in charge of economic and budget planning, announced that he tested positive for the virus.
The first wave of the virus killed two MPs; an advisor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; Iran’s former Ambassador to the Vatican; a Revolutionary Guards commander; a member of the Assembly of Experts; and two members of the Expediency Council, which advises the Supreme Leader.
Two senior aides to the Supreme Leader, including his foreign policy specialist Ali Akbar Velayati; 1st Vice President Esh’aq Jahangiri; Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar; two other Ministers; and five MPS were among the ill.