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  • The policemen and police dogs were patrolling on the street of Ankara, the capital of Turkey, on May 18, 2020.

    The policemen and police dogs were patrolling on the street of Ankara, the capital of Turkey, on May 18, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua/Mustafa Kaya

Published 18 May 2020
Opinion

-- Turkey's COVID-19 cases rise to 150,593;

-- Iran's infection tally reaches 122,492;

-- Saudi Arabia confirms 57,345, 320 deaths;

-- Egypt reports record daily new cases of 535, 12,764 in total.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, surpassed 150,000 on Monday while the tally in Iran crossed 122,000.

Turkey on Monday confirmed 1,158 new COVID-19 cases and 31 more deaths in the past 24 hours, according to Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkey rose to 150,593, while the death toll surged to 4,171.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced a four-day lockdown in all 81 provinces in the country to curb the spread of COVID-19 on May 23-26, which coincides with the Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim feast marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Iranian health ministry on Monday reported 2,294 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number in the country to 122,492 since the outbreak in late February.

Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said 69 patients died over the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 7,057.

Saudi Arabia registered 2,593 new COVID-19 cases, increasing the total infections in the kingdom to 57,345 including 320 deaths.

Saudi Agricultural Development Fund approved on Monday loans worth more than 333 million Saudi riyals (88.8 million U.S. dollars) that aim to support the agricultural activities of the private sector affected by the coronavirus outbreaks, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The United Arab Emirates announced 832 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 24,190 with 224 deaths.

Students wearing masks are seen outside a school in central Israeli city of Modiin amid COVID-19 pandemic on May 17, 2020. Israeli students in all grades went back to school on Sunday. (Xinhua/Gil Cohen Magen)

The number of COVID-19 cases in Israel reached 16,643, after 26 new ones were added, the state's Ministry of Health said.

The death toll increased by four to 276, while the number of patients in serious condition decreased from 55 to 52, out of 152 in hospital.

Israel also reported 311 new recoveries from coronavirus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 13,253.

Kuwait on Monday reported 841 new cases of COVID-19 and six more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 15,691 and the death toll to 118, the health ministry said in a statement.

A medical worker disinfects shelves at a supermarket as measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, May 12, 2020. (Xinhua/Asad)

Currently, 11,234 patients are receiving treatment, including 161 in ICU.

Egypt reported on Monday a record daily new coronavirus cases of 535, raising the total number of infections in the North African country to 12,764.

The death toll from the disease rose by 15 to 645, while 3,440 have fully recovered since the virus hit Egypt in mid-February, said Khaled Megahed, spokesman of the health ministry, in a statement.

A barber wearing a face mask shaves a man's beard at a barbershop in the Zabbaleen district, Cairo, Egypt, on May 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

The Iraqi health ministry on Monday recorded 150 new cases of COVID-19, registering the highest daily increase so far.

Among the 150 new cases, 120 were registered in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the ministry said in a statement.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help combatting the coronavirus.

So far, the total number of confirmed cases in the country reached 3,404, while 123 people have died from the disease and 2,218 have recovered.

The Qatari health ministry on Monday announced 1,365 new infections of the novel coronavirus, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 33,969, of which 29,055 persons are under treatment.

Morocco on Monday reported 82 new COVID-19 cases, raising the tally of infections in the country to 6,952. The number of recoveries increased to 3,758 with 98 new ones.

The Omani health ministry announced on Monday 193 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 5,379.

Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased by 20 to 931 while the death toll remained at 26.

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