Iran says 164 health care professionals among pandemic dead

Iran’s health minister says at least 164 health care professionals have died while battling the coronavirus pandemic

The official IRNA news agency quoted Saeed Namaki as saying new cases have been reported that will be added to that number.

Iran is grappling with the deadliest outbreak of the virus in the Middle East.

Earlier on Saturday, the country put the total death toll from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, at 20,502 out of nearly 356,800 confirmed cases.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said 126 patients died since Friday and there were 2,028 new confirmed cases over the same period. She said 3,850 patients are in critical condition, though 307,702 have recovered so far.