Iran says three cases of the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa have been confirmed in the country’s south, state television reported Tuesday.
A state TV broadcast quoted Health Minister Saeed Namaki as saying, “We have received a report that said in one of our southern provinces we have found three cases of South African coronavirus variant for the first time.”
Namaki said the Health Ministry is monitoring the cases and conducting more tests to make sure the variant was identified correctly.
He also said that cases involving a virus variant identified in India have turned up very close to Iran’s border and the government is testing all Indian citizens in Iran.
Iranian officials reported Tuesday that the daily death toll from COVID-19 rose by 462, putting the country’s total in the pandemic at 70,532. Authorities blame the deaths on people disregarding infection-control measures while using public transportation and during family gatherings.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said 20,963 new cases were confirmed in 24 hours, bringing that total to more than 2,438,000.