(Reuters) - Iran recorded its highest number of deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period, official health ministry figures showed on Monday.
The 162 deaths reported on Monday exceeds the previous record on April 4, when the health ministry reported 158 deaths in a day.
The Islamic Republic in total has recorded 10,670 deaths and 225,205 infections from the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a statement on state TV. There have been 186,180 recoveries, she said.
The number of new daily infections and deaths has increased sharply in the last week following the gradual lifting of restrictions that began in mid-April.
Senior officials warn regularly that restrictions will be reimposed if health regulations to contain infections are not observed.
Eight provinces are considered to be red zones, the health ministry said.
Wearing masks will become mandatory in gathering places determined by the health ministry starting on July 5, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, according to his official website.
The government will assess whether to extend the policy on July 22.
(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; editing by Barbara Lewis)