With increasing infections, Mideast states strive to stave off COVID-19 resurgence
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 08:51, June 29, 2020
CAIRO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Iran hit 10,508 on Sunday after the registration of 144 more fatalities, while Saudi Arabia reported 3,989 new infections, raising the total number in the kingdom to 182,493.
In Iran, the hardest hit country in the Middle East, the overall number of the COVID-19 cases has grown to 222,669 after 2,489 new infections were added, according to Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education.
So far, 183,310 patients have recovered from the virus and 2,946 remain in critical condition, said Lari.
In order to curb the increasing infections and fatalities after the partial lift of lockdown, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that wearing face masks in public places will be made mandatory from July 5 for two weeks.
With no tangible sign of slowdown in the pandemic, Saudi Arabia on Sunday confirmed 40 more deaths and 2,627 new recovered cases, increasing the death toll to 1,551 and the total recoveries to 124,755.
The Saudi health ministry revealed that the number of daily tests for COVID-19 has jumped from about 1,000 at the beginning of the outbreak to 45,000, as more than 1.5 million coronavirus tests have been conducted so far.
Amid the normalization process away from the restrictions against the spread of COVID-19, Turkey reported 1,356 new cases in the past 24 hours, raising the total number in the country to 197,239.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that 15 more patients died from coronavirus, taking the death toll to 5,079, while 1,413 patients recovered in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of recoveries to 170,595.
Qatar's Health Ministry on Sunday announced 750 new infections of COVID-19, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 94,413.
Egypt reported on Sunday 1,265 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total cases registered in the country since mid-February to 65,188, said the health ministry.
Meanwhile, 81 COVID-19 patients died from the coronavirus, raising the death toll to 2,789, while 399 more patients were completely cured, increasing the total recoveries in the North African country to 17,539, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.
Daily infections in Egypt have been surpassing 1,000 cases since May 28, with a record 1,774 infections on June 19.
The Egyptian government has decided to resume air traffic at all airports from July 1 after more than three months of international flight suspension over the coronavirus concerns.
As the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday announced 437 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 47,797.
The UAE health ministry also confirmed two more fatalities from the virus, pushing up the country's death toll to 313.
In Kuwait, 551 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths were reported on Sunday, raising the tally of infections to 44,942 and the death toll to 348, two days before the Gulf country will start its three-week second phase of returning to normal life.
In the second phase, public and private sectors in Kuwait will resume no more than 30 percent of their capacity, while shopping malls, financial institutions, retail shops and parks will reopen.
Iraq reported 2,140 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 45,402.
The Omani health ministry announced on Sunday 1,197 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 38,150.
Israel reported on Sunday 334 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number in the country to 23,755 including 6,363 active cases, the highest since May 2.
The Israeli government announced on Sunday that the eligibility for unemployment benefits for people on unpaid leave would be extended until mid-August amid a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
Eligibility for the grants to the 67-year-olds and above who have not yet returned to work will also be extended, according to the government.
In addition, Israel will reduce the time period between detecting a new patient and bringing all contacts to home quarantine from at least five days to a maximum of 48 hours to curb the recent rise in the COVID-19 morbidity, the prime minister's office said in a statement on Sunday.
The number of COVID-19 cases registered in Palestine has reached 2,248, including 621 recoveries and seven deaths, after 195 new infections were added on Sunday.
Hebron, the largest district in the West Bank, has become the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak that hit the region in mid-June, where 143 new cases were reported on Sunday.
In Iraq, the head of the Iraqi Medical Association called on Sunday for reimposing full curfew to contain the increasing daily infections with coronavirus.
"Otherwise, we must accept huge loss of life, as well as the possibility of the collapse in health system and the subsequent chaos," Abdul-Amir al-Shimmary warned.
Algeria on Sunday reported 305 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day increase in the North African country, raising the total number of infections to 13,273, including 897 deaths and 9,373 recoveries.
A total of 175 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Morocco on Sunday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the North African country to 12,052.
In Lebanon and Jordan, the number of COVID-19 cases on Sunday rose by 21 and 10 to respectively to 1,740 and 1,121.
War-torn Yemen recorded on Sunday 15 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the provinces controlled by the government, bringing the total number to 1,118, including 302 fatalities.
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