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Major Mideast states announce further ease of anti-coronavirus precautions

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-26 10:05

Iranians wear protective face masks against the risk of coronavirus contagion as they ride in the metro, in Tehran, Iran, May 20, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - Most of the major Middle East countries on Monday announced the further ease of the precautions against the novel coronavirus, as Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim festival of breaking the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is being observed across most of the region.

In Turkey, the hardest hit country by the coronavirus in the Middle East, reported 987 new cases on Monday, raising the total number to 157,814, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Meanwhile, the death toll from COVID-19 rose to 4,369 in Turkey after 29 new fatalities in the past 24 hours were confirmed, Koca added.

Turkey has been recently witnessing more signs of slowdown in the pandemic, with daily new infections kept at around 1,000 in the past week.

The Iranian authorities on Monday allowed partial reopening of the Muslim Shiite shrines across the country after more than two months of closure over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Iranian health ministry reported 2,023 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number in the country to 137,724 since the outbreak in late February, state TV reported.

Meanwhile, the death toll has hit 7,451 in Iran and 107,713 have recovered with 2,585 still in critical condition, according to the country's health ministry.

Saudi Arabia, also hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, also announced on Monday the gradual ease of precautionary measures against the COVID-19, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The gradual steps, with social distancing regulations obeyed and based on medical reports of the spread of the virus, will start from Thursday and expand until the situation is back to normal, the SPA quoted Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah as saying.

Saudi Arabia has controlled the spread of the virus through early precautionary measures, especially maintaining a low death rate, the minister noted.

The Arab kingdom announced on Monday 2,235 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 74,795, while death toll rose by nine to 399.

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