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Iran's COVID-19 death toll rises to 1,812; More Mideastern countries impose curfew to curb coronavirus spread

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-24 10:21

An Iranian woman wears a protective face mask, amid fear of COVID-19, as she shops at Tajrish Bazar, ahead of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, March 20, in Tehran, Iran March 18, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - Iran's death toll from COVID-19 climbed to 1,812 on Monday, after 127 new deaths were reported. Meanwhile, more countries in the Middle East decided to impose curfew to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The total number of COVID-19 infections in Iran, the worst-hit country in the region, climbed to 23,049, up by 1,411 from a day ago. A total of 8,376 of the infected have recovered.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted the U.S. for obstructing the fight against novel coronavirus outbreak by maintaining anti-Iran sanctions, while urging countries across the world to defy the U.S. sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed the U.S. offer for help to Iran to fight the coronavirus outbreak as "one of the biggest lies in history."

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted late Monday that the death toll from COVID-19 in Turkey rose to 37, after seven new deaths were added.

A total of 293 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,529, making Turkey the second hardest-hit country in the Middle East, after Iran.

In Israel, 371 people were tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Monday, in the biggest single-day rise. It brought the total number of confirmed cases in Israel to 1,442.

In Riyadh, Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered the Interior Ministry to impose a curfew (from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.) for 21 days in order to stem the COVID-19 spread.

The order exempts the employees of vital occupations in public and private sectors whose work and services are required during the curfew.

In Khartoum, the Sudanese government also declared a curfew (from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in all cities to prevent the coronavirus spread. The bus services between the states will be suspended as of Thursday.

In Algiers, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune ordered the deployment of troops in the capital Algiers and its adjacent province of Blida in a bid to impose a curfew and force citizens to stay home.

At a meeting of the High Security Council held at the President Office, a 10-day home lockdown was also ordered in the province of Blida for 10 days. Blida has registered eight deaths out of a total number of 125 COVID-19 cases.

Tunisian President Kais Saied also decided to deploy the army on the streets to implement the general confinement and the curfew (from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.) to prevent the coronavirus spread.

Tunisia reported 14 new cases on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 89.

In Beirut, following a government order, security forces were deployed all over Lebanon to control the movement of people. Lebanon reported 11 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 267.

One soldier of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL), who returned to Lebanon from a vacation on March 15, was tested positive for COVID-19, said UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti.

The United Arab Emirates announced 45 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 198.

Egypt's Health Ministry reported five more COVID-19 deaths, including one Indian national and four Egyptians, bringing the death toll to 19. The total number of infections in Egypt rose to 366, after 39 new cases were confirmed in the day.

Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities started sanitizing museums and tourist sites nationwide over coronavirus concerns.

Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed three more deaths from COVID-19 and 33 new cases, bringing the total number of the infected to 266.

Oman registered 11 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 66.

Nine new COVID-19 cases were reported in Morocco, where the total number of infections increased to 143.

In Ankara, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said some 50,000 test kits from China arrived in Turkey on Monday to help fight COVID-19. A special drug that could shorten the treatment period was also brought from China.

The China Peaceful Unification Association based in Turkey delivered 10,000 surgical filter masks to the Maltepe district municipality in Istanbul during a ceremony on Monday.

In Libya, which has not reported any COVID-19 cases so far, the eastern-based government decided to impose a 10-day 24-hour curfew as precaution, starting from Wednesday.

In Yemen, another country that has not reported any COVID-19 cases, the World Health Organization on Monday airlifted test kits and personal protective items for health workers in the war-ravaged country.

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