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Iran calls for enhancing anti-coronavirus cooperation in E. Mediterranean region

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-08-12 09:08
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Women wearing protective face masks shop at a bazaar following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran, July 8, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - Iran on Tuesday called for extending the cooperation on fighting COVID-19 in Eastern Mediterranean region. Meanwhile, the tally of coronavirus infections in Saudi Arabia surpassed 290,000.

The total COVID-19 infections in Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, rose to 331,189 after 2,345 new cases were registered.

Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said the death toll from the novel coronavirus increased to 18,800 after 184 more fatalities were added overnight.

So far, 288,620 patients have recovered from the disease while 3,983 others remain in critical condition in Iran, she said.

Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki proposed to extend the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean cooperation program against COVID-19 to more countries in West Asia.

He made the proposal during an online meeting with the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Director Ahmed Al-Mandhari, and the health ministers of the Eastern Mediterranean region's countries, on the region's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia reported 1,521 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total infections to 291,469.

The death toll climbed by 34 to 3,233, while the total recoveries in the kingdom soared to 255,118 after 1,640 new recoveries were added.

In Iraq, the health ministry reported 3,396 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infections to 156,995.

It also confirmed 67 more fatalities, raising the death toll to 5,531, while 2,312 more patients recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 112,102.

Riyadh Abdul-Amir, head of the ministry's Public Health Department, said that Iraq wants to secure the Russian COVID-19 vaccine after it is internationally approved.

Abdul-Amir's comments came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia had registered the world's first vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

Turkey confirmed 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the total diagnosed cases to 243,180, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Meanwhile, 15 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 5,873, while 1,185 patients recovered, raising the total recoveries to 226,155, he noted.

Israel reported the rise of 1,871 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the total infections in the state to 86,593.

The virus claimed nine more lives, leading to 622 the death toll in Israel, while the total number of recoveries surged to 60,080 after 1,082 more patients recovered.

Morocco registered 1,132 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the tally of infections to 35,195, including 533 fatalities and 25,385 recoveries.

Kuwait reported 668 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 73,068 and the death toll to 486.

Algeria on Tuesday reported 492 new cases of coronavirus infection, bringing the total infections to 36,204 including 1,322 deaths.

Djamel Fourar, a member of Algeria's Scientific Committee monitoring the spread of COVID-19, said that 4,025 medical staff in the country have been infected with the coronavirus, 69 of whom have died.

Palestine registered 476 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 19,594, including 114 deaths and 11,168 recoveries.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila held a meeting with Guo Wei, director of the Office of the People's Republic of China to Palestine in the West Bank city of Ramallah, over enhancing bilateral cooperation in the health sector, including combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Al-Kaila expressed gratitude to China for lending a helping hand to Palestine during its tough time in fighting the pandemic, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement.

Qatari Health Ministry on Tuesday announced 384 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 113,646, including 188 deaths and 110,324 recoveries.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed 262 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 62,966.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said that 195 more patients recovered from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries to 56,961, while the death toll rose by one to 358.

Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased by 309 to 7,121 while the death toll went up by seven to 87, the Lebanese Health Ministry said.

Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced that 26 teams from the health ministry have been deployed in 23 districts to follow up on COVID-19 cases.

He also underscored the need to equip a field hospital within maximum 10 days in order to receive more COVID-19 patients.

Syria reported 72 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the overall number of infections in the government-controlled areas to 1,327, including 53 deaths and 385 recoveries.

Tunisian Ministry of Health reported 21 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infections in the country to 1,738, including 52 deaths and 1,272 recoveries.

Tunisia requested passengers arriving from France, Belgium and Iceland present a negative PCR test for the coronavirus 72 hours before the trip, starting Aug 15.

The government also decided to make wearing masks obligatory in major public areas such as airports, railway station, hospitals, private clinics and supermarkets.

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