Dubai: Despite all efforts and precautionary measures being made to combat the outbreak of coronavirus worldwide, this deadly pathogen continues to wreak havoc across the Middle East, paralysing all walks of life in most of the region’s countries.
Iran said Friday that coronavirus has killed 149 more people in the Islamic republic, raising the country’s official death toll from the disease to 1,433, according to AFP.
Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said 1,237 more cases have been confirmed over the past 24 hours and 19,644 people are now known to have been infected in Iran, one of the world’s worst-hit countries.
The latest figures come as Iranians celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year which ushers in a two-week holiday during which Iran’s roads are normally filled with people visiting family.
In the GCC, Kuwait reported 11 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 159, according to the health ministry, Al Arabiya reported.
Nine of today’s cases are Kuwaitis linked to travel to the United Kingdom and one is a Lebanese resident associated with UK travel.
The eleventh case is for Kuwaiti national who travelled to Switzerland.
There are 137 people currently receiving medical treatment for the infection and five are in the intensive care unit.
The health ministry also said 22 people have recovered and 574 have been discharged from quarantine as of Friday.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said it is going to suspend all domestic flights, buses, taxis and trains for 14 days amid the coronavirus outbreak, an Interior Ministry official told the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The new measures will go into effect on Saturday and are a part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.
Flights associated with humanitarian assistance, medical evacuation aircraft as well as private flights are excluded from the new measures.
Means of transportation associated with health services, food and water, as well as cargo ships and freights will not be affected, however, precautions and extra health measures will be taken in accordance with the recommendations of the health ministry, SPA reported.
Egypt authorities have reported 29 new cases for a totalof 285.
10 new cases reported in Qatar, bringing the total number of cases to 470.
Lebanon reported 14 new confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus, raising the total number of recorded cases in the country to 163, according to Lebanon 24, while in Palestine, another person has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the tally of confirmed patients to 48. The Ministry of Health in Palestine also reported 17 recoveries for the first time.
As for Jordan, it reported 15 new cases on Friday, for a total of 85. Jordan will impose a curfew early on Saturday to prevent people from moving except for emergencies to combat coronavirus, the government said, according to Reuters.
The curfew across the country would start from 7am local time (9am UAE time) on Saturday until further notice said Amjad Al Adailah, government spokesman.
King Abdullah had enacted an emergency decree last Tuesday that gives the government sweeping powers invoked in times of war and calamities to enforce an army imposed curfew and other measures.
Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria
In the Arab Maghreb, Tunisia reported 15 new COVID-cases taking the total number of infected persons to 54, reported the Tunisian News Agency on Twitter.
Meanwhile in Morocco, eight new coronavirus cases have been confirmed, bringing to 74 the total of infected people in the kingdom.
The kingdom’s Ministry of Health also reported a third death from covid-19, bringing the total of fatalities associated with the virus to 3, adding that two people have recovered.
Morocco has also decided to declare a “state of health emergency” and to restrict movement as of Friday at 6:00pm until further notice. The move aims to keep the coronavirus under control.
Algeria also reported another death case, with the total number of fatalities standing now at 10.