Roundup: Iraq reports highest daily COVID-19 infections in Mideast as Iran’s tally nudges 400,000

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CAIRO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — Iraq reported 4,243 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily increase among the Middle East states, while Iran’s total tally is getting closer to 400,000 after 2,313 new cases were added.

Iraq has so far confirmed 273,821 coronavirus cases in the country with few tangible signs of pandemic slowdown.

It also reported 75 fatalities on Wednesday, raising the death toll to 7,732, while 3,669 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 209,993.

Ryadh Abdul-Amir, head of the Public Health Department in the Iraqi Health Ministry, noted 80 percent of COVID-19 cases in Iraq are mild with a good increase in the number of recoveries relative to the infections.

In Iran, the hardest hit country in the Middle East, the overall number of coronavirus cases has grown to 393,425 after 2,313 new infections were detected in the past 24 hours, while the pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 22,669 Iranians, up by 127 in the past 24 hours, according to Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for the Iranian health ministry.

She said 1,229 patients were hospitalized because of complications from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, while 3,735 remain in critical condition.

It is worth noting that 13 Iranian provinces remain in high-risk condition.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported 1,673 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the total confirmed number in the country to 284,943.

In addition, 55 people died in the past 24 hours from the virus, taking the death toll to 6,837, while the number of the total recoveries has risen to 254,188.

The largest Turkish city of Istanbul on Wednesday adopted a series of new restrictions as part of the government’s efforts to stem the surging daily COVID-19 cases, including the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places all the time with no exception.

Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 3,532 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total infections in the country to 141,097, while the death toll from the virus rose to 1,054, with 14 new fatalities added.

In the light of the coronavirus crisis, the unemployment rate in Israel has hit 18.3 percent, with more than 746,000 losing their jobs, according to the data released by the Israeli Employment Service.

Palestine reported on Wednesday 696 new COVID-19 cases and two fatalities, raising the total number of infections in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem to 36,214 and the death toll to 217.

In a press statement, Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, warned that the spread of the virus in the densely populated areas in the besieged Gaza Strip “has become too dangerous for the entire society of the coastal enclave.”

Morocco reported 2,157 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths on Wednesday, raising the tally of infections to 77,878 and the death toll to 1,453 in the North African country.

The COVID-19 death rate in Morocco stands at 1.9 percent while the recovery rate is 76.7 percent, with more than 200 in intensive care units.

Earlier in the day, the Moroccan government decided to extend the state of health emergency for the sixth time until Oct. 10.

Saudi Arabia reported 775 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, raising the total cases in the kingdom to 323,012, continuing a positive trend as what the Saudi Ministry of Health said.

The Saudi ministry also reported 28 more deaths and 720 new recovered cases, increasing the death toll to 4,165 and the total recoveries to 298,966.

The Qatari health ministry on Wednesday announced 267 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number in the Gulf state to 120,846, official Qatar News Agency reported.

Oman reported 349 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the total number in the sultanate to 87,939, according to a statement by the Omani health ministry.

In Kuwait, 838 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths were reported on Wednesday, raising the tally of infections to 92,082 and the death toll to 552.

On Aug. 30, the Kuwaiti government lifted a nationwide partial curfew, while activities, including celebrations, parties, weddings, gatherings, banquets and funerals, will remain restricted to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

As the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday announced 883 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 75,981.

The UAE health ministry also reported 416 more recoveries from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries in the UAE to 67,359.

Algeria on Wednesday reported 278 new COVID-19 cases and 10 new fatalities, bringing the total infections to 47,216 and the death toll to 1,581, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

It is the lowest daily infection increase in the North African country since June 29, according to the ministry statement.

In Lebanon and Jordan, the number of COVID-19 cases Wednesday rose by 553 and 77 respectively to 21,877 and 2,659.

The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Wednesday reported 879 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the war-torn country to 20,462.

The Center said in a statement that 82 more patients recovered and 10 more died, raising the total recoveries to 2,329 and the death toll to 324. Enditem

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