The Iranian deputy health minister, Reza Malekzadeh, has resigned amid a spike in the number of novel coronavirus cases recorded in the country.
Malekzadeh accused Health Minister, Saeed Namaki, of mismanaging the country’s response to the pandemic and causing many casualties in Iran.
The resignation came minutes after the government health officials 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.