COVID claims 100,000 lives in Mideast.

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A total of 100,000 people have died in the Middle East after contracting COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in December 2019, according to an AFP tally at 0800 GMT on Thursday based on official data.

In all, 4,991,770 people in the region have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

In terms of deaths, the Middle East is the fifth most affected region in the world, behind Europe (789,310 deaths from 35,032,194 cases), Latin America and the Caribbean (628,398, 19,819,222), the United States/Canada (492,313, 28,095,746) and Asia (245,899, 15,548,576).

Over the last seven days, the number of new daily cases detected in the Middle East has risen slightly to an average of 25,114 per day, an increase of three percent compared to the previous week.

But the trend is clearly downwards in terms of deaths, with an average of 238 recorded per day, down 19 percent over the week.

Iran is the country in the region that has suffered most from the pandemic. It has 58,686 deaths from 1,488,981 recorded cases of COVID-19, ranking it 11th in the world in terms of fatalities.

Iraq follows far behind, with 13,140 deaths from 634,539 cases, then Saudi Arabia (6,415, 371,356) and Israel (5,233, 706,416).

In total, since the WHO office in China reported the outbreak of the disease at the end of December 2019, the pandemic has led to 2,353,534 deaths worldwide from 107,220,146 infections, as of Thursday at 0800 GMT.

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