Iran said Wednesday that the novel coronavirus has killed 147 more people, a new single-day record in the virus-stricken country that raised the overall toll to 1,135.
"Now everyone knows about this disease, and what is very strange is that some don't take it seriously," Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said in a televised news conference.
"If people help, we can control it, and if not, then expect it to last more than two months."
Raisi said 1,192 new infections were confirmed in the past 24 hours, raising the total to 17,161.
Tehran province had the highest number of new cases with 213.
Isfahan in central Iran was second with 162, followed by East Azerbaijan in the northwest with 84.
The deputy minister complained that in Tehran "bazaars are busy" and that people travel in their cars despite warnings not to do so.
"Just be patient for these two weeks so that, God willing, we can overcome this virus," Raisi said.
The country's New Year holidays start on March 20 this year and will last until early April, with many Iranians traditionally travelling to popular spots such as northern provinces.
Iran is yet to impose any lockdowns but officials have repeatedly called on the public to stay home for the holidays.
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