CAIRO, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Israel, currently under renewed nationwide lockdown to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, decided on Thursday to further tighten the anti-coronavirus measures. Meanwhile, China donated a new batch of medical aid to Syria for fighting the coronavirus.
Israel on Thursday reported 4,945 new COVID-19 cases and 51 more deaths, raising the tally of confirmed infections to 209,635 and the death toll to 1,376. The total number of recoveries increased to 148,417, with the addition of 3,454 new recoveries.
At an overnight meeting, the Israeli coronavirus cabinet, which reimposed a three-week nationwide lockdown last Friday, decided to tighten the anti-coronavirus measures on Friday. The measures will last at least until the evening of Simhat Torah, a major Jewish holiday, on Oct. 10.
Under the new measures, all markets and businesses in Israel will be shut down except for factories and services defined as "essentials." Residents will be required to stay within 1,000 meters of their homes, except for an emergency.
Synagogues will be closed, except for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, which begins on Sunday evening. Throughout the lockdown, rallies and prayers will be limited to no more than 20 people.
In Syria, a new batch of medical aid donated by a voluntary organization in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang was delivered to Syrian health authorities on Thursday. The aid includes face masks, goggles, protection suits and ventilators.
On the delivery ceremony held at the Ibn al-Nafis hospital in Syria's capital Damascus, Chinese Ambassador to Syria Feng Biao praised China's friendship with Syria, adding that he had confidence that Syria will defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Syrian Deputy Health Minister Ahmad Khleifawi said that Syria is "extremely grateful for ... this precious gift that will help the health sector in Syria."
Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, reported 3,521 new COVID-19 patients on Thursday, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 436,319.
The pandemic has so far claimed 25,015 lives in Iran, up by 175 in the past 24 hours. A total of 367,829 people have recovered from the disease, while 3,975 remained in the intensive care units.
In Iraq, the health ministry reported 4,471 new COVID-19 cases, raising the tally to 337,106. It also confirmed 45 new deaths from the infectious disease, taking the death toll to 8,799, while the tally of recoveries climbed by 3,773 to 268,761.
The Iraqi government announced that the flights between Iraq and Iran will be suspended for 15 days from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9 due to the spread of coronavirus in some Iranian areas.
Saudi Arabia announced 498 new coronavirus infections and 30 more deaths, raising the tally of confirmed cases to 331,857 and the death toll to 4,599. The total recoveries in the kingdom increased by 1,007 to 314,793.
Turkey reported 1,721 COVID-19 cases, raising the total diagnosed patients to 309,790 in the country. In the past 24 hours, the death toll in Turkey surged by 74 to 7,785, while the tally of recoveries rose by 1,241 to 271,964.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 1,002 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 88,532.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said 942 more patients recovered from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries in the UAE to 77,937, while the death toll rose by one to 407.
In Morocco, 2,356 new COVID-19 cases and 38 more deaths were reported, raising the tally of infections to 110,099 and the death toll to 1,956.
The total number of recoveries from COVID-19 in Morocco increased to 90,186 after 1,942 new ones were added, said the Moroccan Ministry of Health.
Kuwait reported 552 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 101,851 and the death toll to 592, the Kuwaiti Health Ministry said.
The ministry also announced the recovery of 620 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 92,961.
In Oman, the health ministry announced 568 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the sultanate to 95,907.
A total of 283 more people recovered during the past 24 hours, taking the overall number of recoveries to 86,765, while 10 more people died, raising the death toll to 885.
In Qatar, the health ministry announced 250 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 124,425.
Also, 257 more patients recovered from the virus, bringing the overall recoveries to 121,263, while the death toll remained at 212.
Lebanon's total number of COVID-19 cases on Thursday surged by 1,027 to 32,805, in the highest daily rise in infections since the pandemic outbreak in February, while the death toll went up by one to 329.
The continued increase in COVID-19 infections has prompted the Lebanese Education Ministry to postpone the opening of public and private schools until Oct. 12, in an attempt to curb the virus' spread.
Palestine on Thursday reported 713 new cases in the Palestinian territories, raising the total number of COVID-19 infections to 47,830.
The Palestinian Health Ministry also reported five new fatalities from the COVID-19, bringing the death toll in the Palestinian territories to 322.
In Tunisia, the health ministry reported 826 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths, raising the total number of infections to 13,305 and the death toll to 180 in the country.
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