Iran’s COVID-19 death toll is nearing 10,000, with 2,531 new cases and 133 deaths recorded during the past day alone, the country’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

This latest surge follows a fall in cases in the country, according to Reuters. As of Wednesday, the total number of cases reported in Iran was 212,501, and 9,996 people had died of the disease.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the government may require the wearing of masks in public.

Iran has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the Middle East, and some observers have claimed that the country is hiding the real numbers of infections.

An Iranian official in March blamed the coronavirus pandemic on the United States, and said that the Iranian city of Qom had been targeted by the virus because it was the epicenter of the Islamic Revolution and opposition to America.

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