World, Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

5 Arab countries confirm new coronavirus cases

COVID-19 has infected over 350,000 people in 167 countries and regions worldwide

Haydar Karaalp, Mahmut Geldi, Serdar Bitmez and Ibrahim al-Khazin   | 22.03.2020
5 Arab countries confirm new coronavirus cases


Despite stepped-up measures, on Monday more coronavirus cases were reported in five Arab states: Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Algeria.

Iraq confirmed three more deaths from the virus, bringing the country's total fatalities to 23, according to its Health Ministry.

A ministry statement said 33 people tested positive for the virus over the past 24 hours, taking the overall infections to 266.

As precautionary measures, most of Iraq's provinces decided to close their borders, including Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, while others imposed a near-complete lockdown.

Last week, Baghdad shut down schools and universities for 10 days and banned travel to virus-hit provinces.

Meanwhile in Lebanon, the total COVID-19 cases rose to 256 after eight new cases were found, the country's Health Ministry announced.

It also confirmed a new fatality from the infection, taking the national tally to four.

According to the Saudi Health Ministry, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country reached 562 after 51 new cases were reported.

The ministry confirmed no deaths and said a total of 19 people have recovered so far.

The UAE said the number of coronavirus cases rose to 198, after 45 new cases were confirmed by Farida al-Hosani, head for communicable diseases at the Abu Dhabi Health Department.

Al-Hosani said three more people also recovered, raising the number of recovered cases to 41.

The Algerian Health Ministry also confirmed 29 new cases, bringing the total in the North African country to 230.

According to the ministry, 90% of the cases in Algeria had contracted the virus in European countries.

The virus that surfaced in Wuhan last December has spread to 167 countries and regions. The global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 15,400 with more than 353,500 cases confirmed worldwide, according to U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.


*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz and Mahmoud Barakat

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