Iran’s deputy health minister resigned Friday amid a spike in the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country, according to Iranian media

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Iran's deputy health minister resigns amid virus surge

Iran’s deputy health minister resigned Friday amid a spike in the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country, according to Iranian media.

Reza Malekzadeh accused Health Minister Saeed Namaki of mismanaging the pandemic and causing many casualties, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Iran confirmed 479 more coronavirus-related fatalities on Friday, raising the nationwide death toll to 43,896, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

Some 13,260 more people tested positive for the virus over the past 24 hours, pushing the tally up to 828,377, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

Lari warned that all of Iran’s 31 provinces have been declared red zones with a high risk of coronavirus transmission.

Iran has been struggling to contain the pandemic since February, when the first cases were confirmed in the city of Qom.

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