Iran's Rouhani raises the possibility of wearing a face mask in public

DUBAI  President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said Iran was considering mandating the wearing of masks in public and covered areas, confirming a growing number of coronavirus cases of more than 200,000.

In a commentary on state television, Rouhani said, "Mainly for congested and covered areas ... we can (more or less) make it mandatory in a week, but first, most cheap masks will be made available to those in need."

For the first time in more than two weeks, the number of deaths this week has increased to 100 for the first time, blaming the lack of social disturbance and poor use of face masks.

The Health Ministry on Saturday announced 115 deaths in the last 24 hours, totaling 9,507. The most affected country in the Middle East was 2,322 new cases, totaling 202,584.

Rouhani said provinces in high-risk areas may have local sanctions on fighting the virus, but any decisions have yet to be approved by the Ministry of Health and the President.

State media said six of Iran's 31 provinces were high-risk coronavirus areas.

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