200908 Jordan
Jordanian King Abdullah II (R) visits the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman on the eve of the resumption of flights. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: The number of COVID-19 infections has spiked again in some Arab countries after a recent relative decline, amid fears of a second wave of the virus that may be more dangerous than the first.

Morocco

Morocco has witnessed an upsurge in the number of coronavirus infections in recent weeks, setting a record Sunday of 2,234 infections, 42 per cent of which occurred in Casablanca.

The country has taken a package of preventive measures against the killer bug for a forthnight.

In a bid to stem the spread of the virus, the Moroccan government decided to close checkpoints of the capital, and subject movement to and from it to an exceptional permit granted by the authorities.

also see

The Moroccan government also decided to close all educational institutions and adopt distance education as an alternative system.

The measures also included the closure of markets, shops and restaurants at night, and a ban on night movement from 10pm until 5am.

Tunisia

Tunisia recorded 265 new infections, bringing the tally as of Monday, to 5,041.

The Tunisian Ministry of Health says that since the re-opening of the country’s borders on June 27, it has recorded 3,840 infections, including 580 imported cases.

The kindergarten sector in Tunisia has witnessed the reluctance of many parents to register their children for fear of infection with the coronavirus, which has increased its spread in the country since August 18.

Egypt

In Egypt, the Ministry of Health Sunday recorded 19 new deaths from COVID-19, in addition to 151 infections.

According to official statistics, the coronavirus has killed about 5,530 people in Egypt, while it infected 99,863 as of Sunday.

A two-day run-off in the Senate elections starts Tuesday. The National Elections Authority in Egypt decided in late August to refer about 54 million voters to the Public Prosecution for failing to vote in the first round of the Senate elections.

Jordan

Authorities in Jordan have decided to compel workers in the private sector to use the “AMAN” app, after requiring their counterparts in the public sector to use the app on August 11.

Authorities say the app helps limit the spread of the virus by tracking its users’ movements.

On Sunday, the Hashemite Kingdom recorded 58 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 2,411.

It is scheduled to hold legislative elections in the Kingdom on November 10.

West Bank and Gaza Strip

The Ministry of Health in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

recorded three deaths and 789 new cases of coronavirus on Monday.

This brings the total number of deaths in the West Bank and Gaza to 205 cases, while the total number of infections reached 34,801.

The World Health Organisation said that the rise in the coronavirus infection curve in Gaza requires a change in the policies used to combat the virus.

The Gaza Strip has been in a state of emergency and curfew for fourteen days, as part of the measures taken by the local authorities in an attempt to contain the virus.

In a related development, the Supreme Islamic Authority in Jerusalem warned against Israel taking advantage of the corona crisis to close the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The head of the authority and the preacher of the mosque, Ikrimah Sabri, called on the worshipers to adhere to preventive measures to prevent the spread of the virus during prayers in the mosque.

Israeli media have reported postponing a session scheduled for Sunday to discuss closing the Al Aqsa Mosque as a preventive measure to limit the spread of the virus.

On Monday, Israel recorded 2,157 new cases of coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Israeli government decided to impose a partial closure in 40 of the areas with high rates of infections, instead of a complete lockdown.

Yemen

In Yemen, the Supreme National Committee to Confront the Coronavirus announced the registration of four new cases on Monday.

The Yemeni Saba News Agency quoted National Committee officials as saying that the total number of infections reached 1987, while the number of deaths reached 572 cases.

Reports say that the current state of war in Yemen greatly affects the detection and registration of infections, amid fears that the country will not be able to cope with the spread of the virus in light of the ongoing political conflicts on its soil.

27 million infections around the world

The number of people infected with the coronavirus around the world has exceeded 27 million, according to statistics published by Johns Hopkins University of America.

According to the statistics of the World Health Organisation Regional Office in the Eastern Mediterranean, the number of cumulative confirmed cases of the virus in the region, which includes the Arab countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, has exceeded 2.1 million cases, of which 53,082 people died as of Monday.

The World Health Organisation has said it does not expect that an effective vaccine will be widely available before mid-2021.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that 78 countries pledged last April to work to accelerate the development of drugs to treat the coronavirus and distribute them fairly.