Iranian workers set up a makeshift hospital inside the Iran Mall, northwest of Tehran, on March 21, 2020 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The coronavirus pandemic continues to bulldoze its way throughout the middle east, causing more fatalities east and west and upending life in most of the countries.

Iran on Friday announced 144 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the official number of fatalities to 2,378 in one of the world’s worst-hit countries, according to AFP.

“In the past 24 hours, we’ve had 2,926 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections across the country,” health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.

“This brings the overall confirmed cases to at least 32,332,” he added, noting that 11,133 of those hospitalised so far have recovered.

Jahanpour said nearly 2,900 of those infected are in a “severe” condition.

He said that the rising number of confirmed cases was due to Iranians increasingly “self-declaring” symptoms and undergoing testing.

The ministry has repeatedly called on citizens to visit a website and report potential symptoms.

The data, together with their phone number and ID, is used to identify potential cases.

Iran has imposed strict new containment measures, after weeks of public appeals largely failed to deter hundreds of thousands taking to the roads to visit family for the Persian New Year holidays.

State television on Friday showed police checkpoints at Tehran’s entrances and exits preventing residents leaving and non-residents entering.

It said motorists were identified by their car plates and IDs and that several vehicles were impounded and drivers fined for violating the measures.


Not for away from Iran, Iraq has reported 76 new cases of coronavirus, the highest single-day toll of infections, in addition to four more deaths t, taking the total number of fatalities to 40.

According to Iraqi Ministry of Health, the total number of infected cases has increased to 458 with the new infections

The ministry also announced the recovery of 17 cases, increasing the total number of recovered persons to 122.


In Lebanon, the situation is no different from other coronavirus-hit countries. Health authorities in the country reported the seventh coronavirus-related death in the country, as the total number of infections in the country rose to 391, according to Al Arabiya.

The latest death is of an 80 year-old who suffered from chronic illnesses, the ministry said.

The Ministry of Health confirmed another 23 new cases of coronavirus on Friday. Lebanon announced it will impose an overnight shutdown from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting from March 27, as the country steps up its measures to prevent the virus from spreading further. Violators will face legal action, the Internal Security Forces said on Friday.

The health ministry urged citizens, residents, and tourists to adhere to the regulations published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to prevent getting infected with coronavirus.


In the North Africa, Tunisia is among the worst-hit by Covid0-19. Health authorities today reported 30 new infection cases, bringing the overall number of confirmed cases to 227, out of a total of 2,045 carried out tests, according to the Tunisian News Agency.

They are 55 cases recorded in the governorate of Tunis, 34 (Ariana), 23 (Ben Arous), 14 (Medenine), 17 (Sousse), 17 (Monastir), 11 (Sfax), 11 (Kebili), 06 (Tataouine), 11 (Bizerte), 4 (Gabes) , 4 Mahdia, 3 Manouba, 2 Kairouan, 3 Nabeul, 2 Zaghouan, 1 Gafsa, 2 Kef, 1 Sidi Bouzid, 6 Tozeur, the ministry said.

Some 17,888 persons are in self-quarantine, 8,845 of whom have completed the quarantine period and 9,043 are still in isolation and under daily medical check-ups, according to the ministry of health

The Ministry recalls the imperative to respect hygiene standards and calls on citizens to show responsibility and compliance with the general lock-down so as to combat the spread of coronavirus.


Palestine also confirmed seven new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of covid-19 positive patients in the occupied territories to 91.

Speaking during a daily briefing in Ramallah, Government spokesman Ibrahim Milhem said that the test results for 100 suspected cases from Biddu town, northwest of Jerusalem, showed that five people are positive for the deadly virus.

He identified the five cases as a two-year-old female toddler, a ten-year-old child, two young men in their 20s, and a man in his 50s. The first four cases were transferred to Al Carmel Hotel in Ramallah, which functions as a quarantine center, and the fifth case to Hugo Chavez Hospital in TurmusAyya town, north of Ramallah.

Arab world

The Arab World has so far a total of 5351 coronavirus cases with Saudi Arabia being in the lead confirming 1104 cases as of Friday. Arab world countries have also reported 124 deaths from the novel virus while 742 people have made full recovery. Meanwhile some 4485 coronavirus patients are still in hospitals receiving necessary medications according to the Dubai-based Al Roeya Newpaper.