The death toll due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 in Iran has risen to nearly 10,000 with 133 new fatalities in the last 24 hours, the health ministry mentioned, extending a reversal from a steady fall in the daily numbers as the nation has relaxed its lockdown.

There were 2,531 fresh coronavirus infections confirmed in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 212,501, along with 9,996 deaths in all, the ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Iran Death Toll Nears 10,000

Coronavirus
A worker of Junjiang Industrial Limited Company arranges disposable surgical gowns in Yilong New District at Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Qianxinan in southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 21, 2020. Medical supply companies in Yilong New District have been producing medical supplies at full capacity to support the fight against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

The daily death toll has regularly topped 100 in the past week for the first time in two months, mirroring a sharp rise in new infections since restrictions on movement began to be lifted in mid-April. Senior officials have regularly warned that restrictions will be reimposed if health regulations such as social distancing to stem the surge in infections are not observed.

In a sign of such concern, the Islamic Republic's official IRNA news agency said on Tuesday that Friday prayers at mosques will not resume in the capital Tehran this week despite an announcement last week that they would.

On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said the government was considering making it mandatory within days to wear masks in public places and covered spaces given the surge in the number of confirmed infections. Iran has been the Middle East country's hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

(With agency inputs)