Iraq’s COVID-19 cases cross 190,000 mark; Morocco re-tightens preventive measures amid surge of infections


Iraq’s total COVID-19 cases surpassed 190,000 on Thursday as the pandemic continued to rage. Meanwhile, Morocco reimposed strict preventive measures in major cities to curb the surge of coronavirus infections.

Iraq’s total coronavirus infections surged to 192,797 after 3,995 new cases were confirmed, the highest daily infections on Thursday among countries in the Middle East.

The Iraqi health ministry reported 87 more fatalities, raising the death toll to 6,208, while 2,831 more patients recovered in the day, bringing the total recoveries to 137,200.

Iraqi Health Minister Hassan Al-Tamimi said in a press release that Iraq will be one of the first countries to receive the vaccine if approved by the World Health Organization and other international organizations.

In Morocco, 1,325 new COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths were confirmed on Thursday, increasing the tally of infections to 47,638 and the death toll to 775.

To curb the resurgence in infections, Morocco on Thursday re-tightened preventive measures in major cities including Casablanca, Marrakech and Benimellal.

The measures include the closure of cafes, restaurants, stores and shopping centers at 8 p.m local time and of street markets at 4 p.m., the government said, adding broadcasting football matches in cafes is also banned.

Moroccan activists and health workers have recently warned that public hospitals are in dire conditions amid the rapid surge of coronavirus infections since Aug. 1.

The Moroccan government said it decided to close the beaches, public baths and beauty salons, and reinforce the closure of many districts, streets and venues in Casablanca, the Moroccan economic hub.

In Iran, the hardest-hit country in the region, the total coronavirus cases climbed to 352,558 after an overnight registration of 2,279 new infections.

Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said the death toll from the virus increased by 139 to 20,264, while the tally of recoveries reached 304,236.

Israel announced 1,630 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally of infections in the country to 99,599. The death toll in Israel rose to 795 after 16 more patients died, while the total number of recoveries surged to 74,579 with the addition of 1,487 new recoveries.

Turkey confirmed 1,412 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the total diagnosed cases to 254,520, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Meanwhile, 19 people died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll in Turkey to 6,058, and 882 more patients recovered, raising the total recoveries to 234,797.

Kuwait reported 622 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 78,767 and the death toll to 509, the Health Ministry said.

It confirmed 871 more recoveries from the disease, raising the total recoveries in the country to 70,642.

Saudi Arabia reported 1,287 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally of infections in the kingdom to 303,973. The death toll climbed to 3,548 after 42 new fatalities were added, while the total recoveries increased to 275,476 after 1,385 more patients recovered from the virus.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday announced 461 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 65,802, including 369 deaths and 58,153 recoveries.

In Lebanon, the total COVID-19 cases increased by 605 to 10,952, while the death toll went up by four to 113, Lebanese Health Ministry reported.

Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan urged public and private hospitals to receive all COVID-19 patients or people who have symptoms of coronavirus infection.

He also asked the hospitals to free beds from those who are about to be cured and do not need hospitalization to prevent further spread of the virus.

Palestine recorded 514 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections in the Palestinian territories to 23,941, including 132 deaths and 14,730 recoveries.

In Qatar, the health ministry announced 268 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total cases in the Gulf state to 116,224.

Meanwhile, 266 more recovered from the virus, bringing the total recoveries to 112,924, while the fatalities remained at 193 as no new deaths were reported.

Omani Health Ministry on Thursday reported 163 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total cases to 83,769, including 609 deaths and 78,386 recoveries. Enditem

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