Iran says virus death toll tops 13,000 Jul 14, 2020 0 284 12345 AFPTehranIran reported on Monday more than 200 new coronavirus fatalities that took the overall toll in the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak beyond 13,000.“Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours, we have lost 203 of our compatriots due to the COVID-19 disease,” said health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.“Based on this figure, the total number of victims has reached 13,032,” she told a televised news conference.Lari said another 2,349 people had tested positive for the virus, raising the overall figure in the country’s outbreak to 259,652.Iran has been struggling to contain the virus since announcing its first cases in February -- two deaths in the Shiite holy city of Qom.The Islamic republic has refrained from enforcing full lockdowns to stop the pandemic’s spread.Official figures have shown an upward trajectory in new confirmed cases since early May, when Iran hit a near two-month low in daily recorded infections.The Iranian government made the wearing of masks compulsory in closed public spaces from July 4, including on public transport.State television, whose presenters now wear masks, said on Monday that police in Tehran were stopping commuters without masks from entering the subway.Authorities in Qom tightened controls in banks and administrative offices to ensure the implementation of health protocols, including mask-wearing, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.The health ministry spokeswoman called on everyone to keep a physical distance from others, to wash their hands and to use masks.“The more time you spend in an overcrowded environment, the more likely you are to contract the disease,” Lari said.Iran closed schools, cancelled public events and banned movement between its 31 provinces in March, but progressively lifted restrictions from April to try to reopen its sanctions-hit economy.The economy is suffering under the pressures of the health crisis.The country’s currency, the rial, has hit new lows against the US dollar in recent weeks, mostly over border closures and a halt in non-oil exports, according to analysts. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Mandela’s daughter Zindzi dies at 59 Jul 14, 2020 0 1261 Shooting down of Ukrainian aircraft due to ‘human error’: Iran Jul 14, 2020 0 38 Third Iranian lawmaker dies from coronavirus Jul 14, 2020 0 52 Hezbollah parliamentary bloc lodges complaint against US ambassador Beirut The parliamentary bloc of Lebanon’s pro-Iran Shiite movement Hezbollah on Monday lodged an official complaint with the Lebanese Foreign Ministry against the US ambassador in Beirut. Headed by .. Seven children, 2 women killed in Yemen air strike: UN AFP Dubai Seven children and two women were killed in an air raid in northwest Yemen, a UN agency said Monday, as Riyadh said it intercepted missiles fired by Yemeni Huthi rebels. The UN Office for the Coordination of .. Saudi coalition says it destroyed drones, missiles of Yemeni rebels DPA Riyadh The Saudi-led coalition said on Monday it had intercepted and destroyed four missiles and seven bomb-laden drones launched by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels towards the kingdom. Coalition spokesman .. Nigeria doctors begin latest strike amid pandemic AFP Lagos Doctors in Nigeria’s largest city Lagos began a three-day warning strike on Monday over welfare and inadequate protective kits, but said medics handling coronavirus cases would not be involved. The .. Somalia’s army chief survives suicide bombing AFP Mogadishu Somalia’s army chief, General Odowa Yusuf Rage, on Monday survived a suicide bomb attack that was claimed by the Al-Shabaab jihadist group, military sources said. A civilian died and half a dozen other .. Detained Mali opposition figures freed Bamako All opposition figures who were detained in Mali after violent protests against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Friday have been released, their lawyers said on Monday. Alifa Habib Kone, one of the lawyers ..