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Relatives wearing face masks mourn over the grave of former politburo official in the Revolutionary Guard Farzad Tazari, shown in poster, who died Monday after being infected with the new coronavirus, at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery just outside Tehran on Tuesday. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Deaths and infections continued to rise in the Middle East from the dreaded coronavirus. The disease showed no signs of abating in the region, even as cases were down to record lows in the place where it all began, China. Iran, again, had the worst day with 54 more deaths, and with infections rising to more than 8,000. The real toll of both deaths and infections is feared to be several times higher in the country. Curiously, Iran has yet to take drastic and far-reaching quarantine measures like China and Italy, which has also been badly hit.

Now, across the Middle East, over 8,600 people have contracted the virus. There were 59 confirmed cases as of Monday in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, including one fatality, a German tourist. Also in Egypt, 26 people earlier diagnosed with coronavirus in tested negative after receiving medical treatment, the health ministry said Tuesday.

Outside Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, and Lebanon have recorded deaths from the virus in the Mideast. The dead man in Lebanon had returned from Egypt, the Lebanese ministry of health said. Lebanese Minister of Culture Abbas Murtada separately ordered all museums closed until further notice because of coronavirus, according to state-run national news agency. Lebanon, like other Mideast nations, has closed schools and universities over the virus. [It has a total of 52 cases of infection.] Iraqi authorities have urged people to avoid public gatherings and ordered cafes to close as virus cases have hit 67, mainly blamed on travellers from Iran.

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said on Monday it has detected five new cases, bringing the total to 20.

In Israel, 42 cases have so far been confirmed. The Israeli regime announced on Tuesday that anyone arriving from overseas will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Meanwhile, Tunisia announced that it was suspending all flights and shipping to Italy except to Rome.

There are 26 confirmed cases in the Occupied Territories, with most centred around the town of Bethlehem.