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COVID-19 Mideast Updates: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel

  • A woman wearing face mask crosses a street in Tehran, Iran, April 13, 2020.

    A woman wearing face mask crosses a street in Tehran, Iran, April 13, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 15 April 2020

--COVID-19 cases in Iran increase to 76,389;

   --China assists Saudi Arabia and Algeria in anti-coronavirus fight;

   --Infections soar in Turkey to 69,392;

   --Israel's total cases reach 12,501.

The confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassed 76,000 in Iran on Wednesday as the slowdown in infections continued. Meanwhile, a team of Chinese medical experts arrived in Saudi Arabia to help fight the novel coronavirus.

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Iran announced 94 new deaths from the coronavirus, raising the total fatalities to 4,777, while the tally of confirmed cases surged to 76,389, up by 1,512 from a day ago.

The increase in the new cases of infections in Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, has been declining consecutively for about half a month.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on Wednesday unveiled a device that can detect people infected with COVID-19 from a distance, with which the coronavirus diagnosis does not require a blood test anymore.

In Riyadh, a team of eight Chinese medical experts arrived in the Saudi Arabian capital with medical supplies to help combat COVID-19, as the kingdom reported 493 new cases, bringing the total number to 5,862.

Saudi Arabia registered six new deaths from the coronavirus and 42 more recoveries, raising the death toll to 79 and the total recoveries to 931.

On the same day, Algeria received the second batch of a medical donation from China since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the North African nation, including face masks, test devices, and medical protective outfits.

Djamel Fourar, head of Algeria's COVID-19 Detection and Follow-up Commission, reported 90 new COVID-19 cases and ten new deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,160 and the death toll to 336.

In Turkey, the fast rise in the tally of infections continued on Wednesday, as 4,281 new cases and 115 more deaths were reported.

The total confirmed cases in Turkey climbed to 69,392, while the death toll hit 1,518, said Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. A total of 5,674 patients have recovered since the outbreak of the virus in the country in mid-March.

Turkey started to release prisoners on Wednesday after the parliament adopted an amendment a day before to release nearly 90,000 inmates from prisons amid fears of the spread of the deadly virus.

Israel, another hard-hit country in the region, reported 455 new confirmed cases, bringing the tally of coronavirus infections to 12,501.

The death toll from the virus in Israel increased from 123 to 130 while the recoveries rose by 368 to 2,563, the highest number of daily recoveries in the country so far.

Israel brought reagents from South Korea on Wednesday, enough for conducting 100,000 coronavirus tests. The country also began producing reagents, with the help of Chinese giant BGI Genomics, to increase the testing pace.

In Palestine, 40 new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed in its territories, bringing the total number to 369.

Shukri Bishara, Palestinian finance minister, said that the Palestinian government would borrow 400 million U.S. dollars from local banks during the coming six months to back its treasury amid the coronavirus crisis.

Kuwait reported 50 new cases, bringing the country's total number to 1,405, of whom 206 have recovered.

In Egypt, 155 new cases and five new deaths from COVID-19 were confirmed, raising the total cases to 2,505 and the death toll to 183.

The Egyptian Health Ministry also reported 39 cases of recoveries, increasing the total number of recoveries to 553.

In Lebanon, the number of COVID-19 infections increased by 17 to 658, while the death toll remained at 21.

Iraq confirmed 15 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 1,415, of whom 79 have died and 812  recovered.

The Iraqi authorities on Wednesday decided to extend the nationwide curfew until the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Morocco's confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 136 to 2,024, which included 127 fatalities and 229 recoveries.

Oman's Ministry of Health announced 97 new cases of infections, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 910, including 131 recoveries.

In Qatar, 283 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected Wednesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 3,711, of whom seven have died and 406 recovered.

The United Arab Emirates announced 432 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths, raising the total confirmed cases to 5,365 and the death toll to 33.

In Syria, four new COVID-19 cases were found on Wednesday, raising the tally to 33, including two deaths and five recoveries.

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