Roundup: Iran's COVID-19 cases near 950,000 as Iraq's infections surpass 550,000

By Liu Xi

CAIRO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Iran's COVID-19 cases approached 950,000 on Sunday. Meanwhile, Iraq's nationwide infections of coronavirus exceeded 550,000.

Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East region, reported 12,950 new coronavirus infections during the past 24 hours, raising the total number of cases registered in the country to 948,749 so far.

The pandemic has claimed 47,874 lives in Iran after the overnight registration of 389 new deaths. The daily death toll was under 400 for two days in a row after nearly one month.

A total of 658,292 coronavirus patients have recovered in Iran, with 5,859 still in critical condition.

In Iraq, 1,614 new COVID-19 cases were detected during the past 24 hours, bringing the total nationwide infections to 550,435.

The death toll from the coronavirus in Iraq rose to 12,224 after 24 fatalities were added, while the total recoveries increased to 480,903 as 2,366 more patients recovered.

In the meantime, Riyadh Abdul-Amir, head of Iraqi Health Ministry's Public Health Department, told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that Iraq is currently the 20th in the global ranking of coronavirus infections after once the 11th.

"It is not possible to judge at this time that the pandemic has receded, especially as we are in winter, when infections are likely to increase. But if the decline of infections continues until the end of the winter, that will be an indication of the pandemic's receding," INA quoted Abdul-Amir as saying.

Turkey reported 29,281 new infections, including 6,439 symptomatic patients, said Turkish Health Ministry, adding that the total number of symptomatic COVID-19 patients in the country stood at 494,351.

The death toll from the coronavirus in Turkey rose by 185 to 13,558, while the total recoveries climbed to 400,242 after 4,015 more patients recovered in the last 24 hours.

Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday 217 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally to 357,128.

The recoveries rose to 346,409 with 386 more recovered cases in the kingdom, while the death toll reached 5,884 with the registration of 14 more fatalities.

In Morocco, the tally of COVID-19 cases rose by 4,115 to 353,803, including 5,789 fatalities and 302,314 recoveries.

In Israel, 664 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, taking the tally of coronavirus infections to 335,453.

The death toll of the virus in Israel increased to 2,864 with ten new fatalities, while the total recoveries rose to 322,988 after 976 new recovered cases were added.

Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli government has approved a plan to strengthen Israel's industry amid the coronavirus crisis.

The program is intended to increase the competitiveness of the business sector, and to encourage public procurement of Israeli products.

The plan includes a duty to prioritize Israeli products in tenders issued by public corporations and local authorities, and in procurement agreements executed for the health system.

Jordan's tally of cases increased by 3,598 to 214,307 with 2,694 deaths and 148,572 recoveries.

Kuwait reported 231 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 142,426 and the death toll to 878 in the country.

The Kuwaiti Health Ministry also announced the recovery of 524 more patients, taking the total recoveries in the country to 136,413.

In Qatar, 171 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected, increasing the total number to 138,648, including 237 deaths and 135,862 recoveries.

In Lebanon, the number of COVID-19 infections went up by 1,266 to 126,944 on Sunday, while the death toll reached 1,004.

Lebanese caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced on the day that lockdown measures will be lifted gradually starting Monday to allow businesses to compensate for their losses ahead of the festive season of Christmas and New Year, the National News Agency reported.

Palestine reported 1,927 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections in the Palestinian territories to 96,788, including 807 deaths and 76,148 recoveries.

Meanwhile, Tunisia's total number of cases from the virus rose to 96,251 after 1,271 more were added. A total of 3,219 have died from coronavirus in the North African country, while 69,624 patients have recovered.

In Algeria, the tally of coronavirus infections rose by 1,009 to 82,221 with 2,410 deaths and 53,264 recoveries.

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