-- Iran's total COVID-19 cases hit 267,061;
-- Iraq to ease anti-coronavirus measures;
-- Saudi Arabia's total COVID-19 cases reach 243,238;
-- Algeria extends lockdown measures.
Iran's total COVID-19 cases climbed to 267,061 on Thursday. Meanwhile, Iraq announced new steps to ease the anti-coronavirus measures despite the continued resurgence of the pandemic.
Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, registered 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, while the death toll from the infectious respiratory virus rose to 13,608 after 198 more fatalities were added.
Sima Sadat Lari, a spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said that so far 230,608 patients in Iran have recovered while 3,471 remain in critical condition.
Meanwhile, an Iranian health official has called for an extension of restrictive measures in Tehran as the novel coronavirus disease continues to rage in the capital city.
The duration as well as the scope of lockdown measures which have restarted across Tehran since Monday should be extended, Alireza Zali, the head of Tehran's Coronavirus Taskforce, said.
Saudi Arabia's total coronavirus cases rose to 243,238 on Thursday with the registration of 2,764 new cases, the Saudi Health Ministry tweeted.
The death toll in the kingdom climbed to 2,370 with 45 new fatalities during the last 24 hours, while the tally of recoveries rose to 187,622 after 4,574 patients newly recovered from the disease.
Turkey reported 933 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 216,873, and 21 new deaths from the virus, pushing the death toll to 5,440.
In Iraq, the Health Ministry reported 2,281 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 86,148, and 90 more deaths, raising the death toll to 3,522.
Despite the lack of signs of the pandemic's slowdown, Iraqi Higher Committee for Health and National Safety decided on Thursday to reduce the curfew hours and ease some anti-pandemic measures.
It said that the curfew will start from 9:30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT) to 6:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) in the coming week, except for a full curfew on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On June 29, the committee imposed a partial curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Sunday to Wednesday.
The committee also decided to completely lift the curfew after the Eid al-Adha holiday, which is expected to end in the early days of August according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
The committee's decisions also included re-opening the airports on July 23, in addition to re-opening two border crossings with neighboring Iran and one with Kuwait for commercial exchange.
Egypt reported on Thursday 928 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total cases registered in the country since mid-February to 85,771, said Egyptian Health Ministry.
Some 53 patients died, raising the death toll to 4,120, while 556 others were cured and discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 26,691, the ministry said in a statement.
The Israeli Ministry of Health reported 1,871 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases in the country to 46,059.
The death toll increased to 384 after eight new deaths were reported, while the number of recoveries reached 20,370, with 381 new recoveries, the ministry said.
Oman on Thursday reported 1,327 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infections to 62,574, the Ministry of Health said.
It reported nine new deaths from the virus, raising the death toll in the country to 290, and 1,052 new recoveries, increasing the total recoveries to 40,090.
Kuwait reported 791 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 57,668 and the death toll to 402, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Currently, 9,721 patients are receiving treatment, including 142 in intensive care units, it added.
In Algeria, 585 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, raising the tally of infections to 21,351, including 1,052 fatalities and 15,047 recoveries.
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad on Thursday announced the extension of partial lockdown measures in 29 provinces to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Qatar's Health Ministry on Thursday announced 494 new infections of COVID-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 105,477.
One more death was recorded, taking the total fatalities to 152, while the tally of recoveries rose to 102,168 after 531 more people recovered during the past day.
Morocco registered 283 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections to 16,545, which included 263 deaths and 13,965 recoveries.
In Libya, the National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Thursday reported 73 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country so far to 1,652.
Among the total confirmed cases in Libya, there are 379 recoveries and 46 deaths, the center said.
Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased on Thursday by 57 cases to 2,599, while the death toll went up by two to 40.