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Mideast states on alert for looming COVID-19 resurgence amid gradual ease of restrictions
Last Updated: 2020-06-23 12:57 | Xinhua
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Iran on Monday reported 2,573 new COVID-19 infections while Turkey confirmed 1,212 new ones, as much of the Middle East region is on high alert for the looming resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic amid the gradual ease of anti-coronavirus restrictions across the region.

In Iran, the hardest hit country in the Middle East, the overall number of the novel coronavirus cases has grown to 207,525, while the pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 9,742 Iranians, up by 119 in the past 24 hours, according to Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

She said the provinces of Khuzestan, East Azarbaijan, Hormozgan and Kermanshah remain as the high-risk region over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Turkey has so far confirmed a total of 188,897 coronavirus cases in the country, with daily new infections kept at more than 1,000 since June 13.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Monday that 24 more patients died from the virus, taking the death toll to 4,974, while 1,293 patients recovered in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of recoveries to 161,533.

Earlier in the day, Turkey started to impose fines of up to 900 liras (131 U.S. dollars) on those who don't wear face masks in public places as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The measure will cover outdoor spaces as well as shops and restaurants in 81 provinces of Turkey.

With no tangible sign of slowdown in the pandemic, Saudi Arabia registered on Monday 3,393 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the kingdom to 161,005, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Saudi Ministry of Health also reported 40 more deaths and 4,045 new recovered cases, increasing the death toll to 1,307 and the total recoveries to 105,175.

The Saudi authorities also announced a decision to allow a limited number of pilgrims to perform Hajj in the kingdom this season over the coronavirus concerns.

Qatar's Health Ministry on Monday announced 1,034 new infections of COVID-19, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 88,403.

The ministry attributed the increase in coronavirus infections to gatherings and visits as well as ignoring the preventive measures such as staying at home and social distancing.

Egypt reported on Monday 1,576 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total cases registered in the country since mid-February to 56,809, said the health ministry.

Meanwhile, 85 COVID-19 patients died from the coronavirus, raising the death toll to 2,278, while 397 more patients were completely cured, increasing the total recoveries in the country to 15,133, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Egypt will resume air traffic at all airports from July 1 as the country prepares for the return of foreign tourism, 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 Monday announced 378 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 45,303.

The UAE health ministry also confirmed one more fatality from the virus, pushing up the country's death toll to 303.

In Kuwait, 641 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths were reported on Monday, raising the tally of infections to 40,291 and the death toll to 330.

On June 18, Kuwait decided to ease the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the COVID-19, such as shortening the curfew hours and lifting the lockdown on some areas.

The Israeli Coronavirus Cabinet decided to impose a heavier fine for not wearing a face mask in public places, as part of the efforts to deal with the recent rise in COVID-19 morbidity, the prime minister's office said Monday.

The cabinet also suggested a scenario of a second outbreak with 2,000 ventilated COVID-19 patients and 2,000 other ventilated patients suffering from other diseases, in order to guide the government regarding its preparations and procurement of the healthcare equipment.

Israel reported on Monday 304 new coronavirus cases, the highest since April 23, bringing the total number in the country to 21,082.

In Iraq, Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi said on Monday that the country is nearing the peak of the COVID-19 infections, after "the past few days have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of infections."

Iraq reported 1,808 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 32,676.

A total of 195 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Morocco on Monday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the North African country to 10,172.

In Lebanon and Tunisia, the number of COVID-19 cases on Monday rose by 16 and two respectively to 1,603 and 1,159.

War-torn Yemen recorded on Monday 26 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the provinces controlled by the government, bringing the total number to 967.

(Editor:Fu Bo)

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Mideast states on alert for looming COVID-19 resurgence amid gradual ease of restrictions
Source:Xinhua | 2020-06-23 12:57
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