Iraq’s daily COVID-19 cases hit year’s new record; Israel to gradually lift lockdown restrictions next week

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CAIRO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) — Iraq set a new record of daily COVID-19 cases in 2021 with 1,135 infections confirmed on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Israel said it will start gradually lifting the lockdown restrictions next week.

The Iraqi Ministry of Health said its total nationwide cases climbed to 621,755 with the addition of the 1,135 new cases.

The ministry also reported 11 new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus in Iraq to 13,068, and 1,210 new recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 594,594.

Hassan Nadhim, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, said at a press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting that the government decided to impose strict measures on all workers in the ministries and other institutions, as well as a ban on gatherings.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will begin “gradually” lifting COVID-19 lockdown restrictions next week.

He said the country’s large-scale coronavirus vaccination rollout is “a key” to exiting the pandemic and the third nationwide lockdown which was imposed on Dec. 27, 2020.

Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 7,951 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total tally in the country to 659,356. The death toll from the COVID-19 in Israel reached 4,886 after 73 new fatalities were added, while the total recoveries rose by 8,777 to 581,982.

Turkey reported 7,795 new COVID-19 cases, including 630 symptomatic patients, and 120 more deaths from the disease, pushing up its tally of infections to 2,492,977 and its total fatalities to 26,237.

The total number of recoveries in Turkey rose by 8,639 to 2,379,070, according to the Turkish Health Ministry.

Iran announced 6,820 new COVID-19 infections and 72 more deaths on Tuesday, raising its total cases to 1,431,416 and its death toll to 58,110. The total recoveries in Iran surged by 6,892 to 1,223,197.

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday a temporary ban on the entry of citizens from 20 countries, including Argentina, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, the United States, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, and Japan.

The ban, effective on Wednesday, is part of the kingdom’s precautionary measures against COVID-19 due to a recent spike in new infections.

Saudi Arabia recorded 310 new COVID-19 cases and four more fatalities on Tuesday, taking its total infections to 368,639 and its death toll to 6,383.

Morocco recorded 835 new coronavirus cases and 22 more deaths, taking its total infections to 472,273 and its death toll to 8,309. The total recoveries in the North African country increased by 795 to 450,847.

In Jordan, 1,132 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed, bringing its total cases to 329,194, while its death toll rose by eight to 4,334. The tally of recoveries from the virus surged to 316,442 with the addition of 978 new recoveries.

The UAE confirmed 3,310 new COVID-19 infections and seven more deaths, pushing up its total coronavirus cases to 309,649 and its death toll to 866. The total recoveries in the UAE soared by 3,791 to 285,201.

Lebanon registered on Tuesday a new record of 81 daily deaths from COVID-19, raising the total fatalities from the virus to 3,226, the Lebanese Health Ministry said.

The total number of coronavirus infections in Lebanon increased by 2,770 to 305,842, while the tally of recoveries climbed to 186,052, it said.

Earlier in the day, caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan emphasized the importance of launching an awareness campaign about the necessity of vaccination to curb the pandemic.

Kuwait’s COVID-19 cases increased by 811 to 166,654 on the day, while the death toll rose by one to 960.

The Kuwaiti Health Ministry also announced the recovery of 510 more patients, taking the total recoveries to 158,986.

The Omani health ministry on Tuesday announced 161 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number in the sultanate to 134,685. Oman’s total recoveries rose by 105 to 127,054, while the death toll remained unchanged at 1,532.

Qatar’s Health Ministry reported 375 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total confirmed number in the Gulf state to 152,095. The tally of recoveries in Qatar climbed by 158 to 146,111, while the death toll remained at 249 for the second consecutive day.

Libya reported 1,032 new COVID-19 cases and 13 more fatalities, taking its tally of infections to 120,434 and its death toll to 1,896. Its total number of recoveries rose by 1,007 to 100,593. Enditem

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