Iran re-emerges as hardest-hit Mideast country by COVID-19

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CAIRO: Iran has re-emerged as the hardest-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East region, as the country is witnessing a respike of the pandemic with its confirmed cases going beyond 173,000.

Iran reported a total of 173,832 coronavirus cases on Monday after an overnight registration of 2,043 new ones, Xinhua news agency reported. The pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 8,351 Iranians, up by 70 in the past 24 hours. Besides, 136,360 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals while 2,619 remain in critical condition.

Iran’s health officials have urged the people to wear face masks in public places, particularly in the public transport vehicles as the country has started to restart businesses and social activities. In Turkey, now the second hardest-hit country in the Middle East, the COVID-19 cases increased by 989 on Monday to 171,121, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Meanwhile, 19 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 4,711, and the total recoveries grew to 141,380, Koca said. Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines on Monday announced that it would offer a 40-percent discount on tickets for healthcare workers across the globe.

“The Turkish Airlines started a new campaign for the healthcare workers who are working selflessly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” the airline said. With no significant signs of slowdown in the pandemic, Saudi Arabia registered 3,369 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the accumulated infections in the kingdom to 105,283. The death toll from the virus increased to 746 with 34 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours, while the number of recoveries reached 74,524 after 1,707 more have recovered.

Egypt on Monday registered 1,365 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 35,444, said the health ministry. The death toll from the disease in the North African country rose to 1,271 after 34 fatalities were added, while a total of 9,375 recoveries have been registered. The Israeli Ministry of Health reported 169 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number to 18,032. while the death toll remained at 298.

Israel has decided to stop all steps to ease restrictions that were planned for the coming days given an increase in COVID-19 morbidity, the prime minister’s office said. Train services in Israel did not resume as scheduled to reoperate on Monday, while the reopening of theaters and cinemas, scheduled for June 14 under restrictions, will be postponed for at least one week.

Iraq’s Health Ministry confirmed on Monday 1,115 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 13,481 in the country. Meanwhile, 24 more people died from the coronavirus during the day, raising the death toll to 370, while 5,572 patients have recovered.

Qatar’s health ministry announced 1,368 new infections of COVID-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 70,158. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday announced 568 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 39,376.

Meanwhile, 469 more patients have fully recovered from the virus, taking the tally of the UAE’s recoveries to 22,275. Kuwait reported 662 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 32,510 and the death toll to 269, the health ministry said

The Omani Ministry of Health announced 604 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 17,486. In Morocco, a total of 78 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, bringing the total number in the North African country to 8,302.

The number of people cured increased to 7,408 with 44 new recoveries, said Mouad Mrabet, coordinator of the Moroccan Center for Public Health, at a press briefing. Lebanon’s number of COVID-19 infections increased by 19 cases to 1,350, while the death toll remained at 30.

Tunisian President Kais Saied decided to lift the anti-coronavirus curfew across the country starting Monday.

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