Coronavirus Watch in Mideast


-- Iran's COVID-19 cases reach 530,380 with 30,375 deaths;

-- Iraq's total recoveries exceed 360,000;

-- Oman's nationwide infections near 110,000;

-- Turkey, Lebanon and Libya take new anti-virus measures.

CAIRO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iran rose to 530,380 on Sunday. Meanwhile, Turkey decided to conduct general inspections of compliance with the anti-coronavirus rules on hygiene, social distancing, and wearing masks for the next seven days.

Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East region, reported 3,890 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 530,380.

The pandemic has so far claimed 30,375 lives in Iran, up by 252 in the past 24 hours. A total of 427,400 coronavirus patients have recovered, with 4,744 still in critical condition.

In the meantime, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey climbed by 1,815 to 347,493.

The death toll from the coronavirus in the country rose to 9,296 after 72 new fatalities were added in the past 24 hours and the total recoveries increased to 304,003 with 1,504 new recovered cases.

On the same day, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a notice sent to provincial governorships that the seven-day inspections of compliance with the anti-coronavirus rules would be conducted in all 81 provinces in the country starting Monday.

People practice physical distancing while watching a film during the Istanbul Film Festival in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 13, 2020. (Xinhua/Osman Orsal)

It noted that the inspections would focus on seven different areas of life, including public transport, workspaces, sports facilities, restaurants and cafe houses, beauty salons and barbershops, as well as open-air spaces. Local authorities would also check those who are in COVID-19 isolation.

In Iraq, 3,110 new COVID-19 cases were detected during the past 24 hours, bringing the total nationwide infections to 426,634.

The death toll from the coronavirus in Iraq rose to 10,254 after 56 fatalities were added, while the total recoveries increased to 360,477 as 3,186 more patients recovered.

Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Hussein (R) and CT technician Hanan Jamal examine lung images at al-Shifaa Center in Baghdad, Iraq, Oct. 12, 2020. (Xinhua)

Iraqi Health Ministry said it had opened a new makeshift hospital with 120 beds for treating COVID-19 patients in the capital Baghdad as part of the ministry's efforts to contain the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia announced 348 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising the total infections to 342,202.

The total recoveries in the kingdom rose to 328,538 after 373 new recovered cases were added, while the death toll increased to 5,185 with 20 new fatalities.

Saudi Arabia has allowed its citizens and residents to perform Umrah rituals at 75-percent capacity for its second-phase resumption of Umrah, state news agency SPA reported.

In Morocco, the tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 173,632 after 2,721 new cases were added, which included 2,928 fatalities and 143,972 recoveries.

In Qatar, 204 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected, increasing the total number to 129,431, including 224 deaths and 126,406 recoveries.

Kuwait reported 663 new cases and seven more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 116,146 and the death toll to 701 in the country, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also announced the recovery of 752 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 107,860.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 1,215 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 115,602.

The tally of recoveries in the UAE rose to 107,516 after 1,162 more patients have recovered from the virus and the death toll reached 463 with four more deaths.

Oman's Ministry of Health announced 1,657 new cases of infections, raising the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 109,953, including 1,101 deaths and 95,624 recoveries.

Students wearing masks take a school bus in Beirut, Lebanon on Oct. 12, 2020. (Xinhua/Bilal Jawich)

In Lebanon, the number of COVID-19 infections increased by 1,002 to 62,286, while the death toll went up by three to 520. The country added 57 new villages to the lockdown list amid an increase in daily new cases of the virus.

At the same time, caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced that Lebanon will get the vaccine against COVID-19 through COVAX, an international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, before the end of this year.

Libya's tally of infections from the virus hit 48,790 with an addition of 945 new cases, including 26,889 recoveries and 725 fatalities.

In addition, the National Center for Disease Control of Libya announced launch of a tele-medical consultation program that would link Libyan medical consultants in the United States with medical consultants inside quarantine centers in Libya regarding treatment of severe COVID-19 cases.

The Center also said it plans to introduce a tele-learning program to organize training courses for doctors in Libya.

In Jordan, 1,520 new COVID-19 cases and 15 more deaths were recorded, increasing the tally of cases to 37,573 and the death toll to 345.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Yemen's government-controlled provinces increased to 2,056 after one new case was added.

The number of recoveries in the government-controlled areas, including the southern port city of Aden, increased to 1,338 and the death toll climbed to 597.