MENA Region Countries Battle to Survive the Virus Effect

Published November 2nd, 2020 - 01:00 GMT
MENA Region Countries Battle to Survive the Virus Effect
About 2.5 million recoveries from the virus causing the COVID-19 illness were recorded. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Across the Middle East, there have been over 75,000 deaths attributed to the virus by health authorities, the count shows.
The number of reported coronavirus cases has gone over 3 million in the Middle East, a count on reported figures by individual countries showed Friday, with the true number likely even higher.

 

Across the Middle East, there have been over 75,000 deaths attributed to the virus by health authorities, the count shows.

About 2.5 million recoveries from the virus causing the COVID-19 illness were recorded.

In the region, the hardest-hit nation remains Iran, which served as the initial epicentre of the virus in the region.

Iranian authorities say there have been over 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with some 477,000 recoveries and 34,000 deaths. Yet even those numbers are believed to be low, Iranian officials say.

In some war-torn nations, it remains difficult to know the scope of the pandemic as well.

In Yemen for instance, it’s believed that the vast majority of the country’s cases have gone undiagnosed and untreated, and health workers have said only those who are near death are usually brought to hospitals.

Health workers at the Damascus International airport in the Syrian capital. (AFP)

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, some Middle East countries have made great efforts to contain the disease but new cases keep on appearing on a daily basis. In the UAE, 1,121 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Saturday, taking the overall tally in the country to 132,629.

According to the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the latest coronavirus patients, all of whom are in a stable condition and receiving the necessary care, were identified after conducting more than 143,991 additional COVID-19 tests among UAE citizens and residents over the past few days.

Meanwhile, the number of recoveries has gone up to 128,902 after another 1,295 people received the all-clear.

Five more deaths were also reported in the past 24 hours, pushing the country’s COVID-19 death toll to 495.

In North Africa, the situation is growing more complicated amid a slow response to the health crisis by the authorities. Tunisia on Thursday announced it was imposing a nationwide night-time curfew, shutting schools and banning inter-region travel in a bid to halt a resurgence of the novel coronavirus.

Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi called on “all governorates to declare a curfew” from 8:00 pm until 5:00 am on weekdays and starting one hour earlier on weekends.

His statement did not say how long the lockdown would remain in place.

In Algeria, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been hospitalised, his office said Tuesday, days after he went into self-isolation after suspected coronavirus cases among his aides.

In its statement, however, the presidency said Tebboune’s “state of health does not raise any concern.”

The United Nations, which is battling its own outbreak, forcing it to halt all face-to-face meetings at its New York headquarters, recently published a slew of data laying bare the travails of the global economy.

While the World Tourism Organisation said tourism had collapsed by 70 percent this year leading to a $730-billion loss in revenues, the UN’s trade body UNCTAD said foreign direct investment was likely to slump by 40 percent.

The grim economic outlook was compounded by continuing spikes in virus cases across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.


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