Roundup: Palestine reports 17 cases of new COVID-19 strain; Lebanon extends lockdown for 7 days


CAIRO, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Palestine reported 17 cases of new COVID-19 strain on Thursday; Meanwhile, Lebanon decided to extend its 25-day lockdown for seven more days to contain the pandemic's spread.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said in a press statement that medical teams are following up on the 17 patients' conditions, as well as taking samples from their contacts.

"The new strain of the coronavirus is considered to spread more rapidly among the population. Also, it may infect all ages of the people," the minister added.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported 574 new COVID-19 cases, bringing to 173,470 the total cases in the Palestine. The death toll from the infectious disease rose by seven to 1,925 in the Palestinian territories.

In Lebanon, the COVID-19 ministerial committee approved on Thursday the extension of the 25-day lockdown, which started on Jan. 7, until Feb. 8, in hope to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab urged the health minister to draft a strategy for vaccination and the measures that must be adopted after lockdown to prevent resurgence of infections.

Lebanon's total COVID-19 infections soared by 4,594 to 269,241, while its death toll climbed to 2,151 with the addition of 67 new deaths, the highest daily surge since the pandemic outbreak last year.

Turkey, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, announced 6,289 new COVID-19 cases and 153 more deaths, pushing its tally of infections to 2,412,505 and its death toll to 24,640. The total recoveries from the disease in Turkey climbed by 6,113 to 2,290,032.

Iran reported 6,204 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the total nationwide number to 1,354,520. The pandemic has so far claimed 57,150 lives in Iran, up by 93 in the past 24 hours.

A total of 1,144,549 people have recovered from the disease in Iran, while 4,168 patients remained in intensive care units.

In Iraq, the health ministry reported 809 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 611,407.

The ministry reported nine new deaths, raising the death toll to 12,977, and 1,805 more recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 576,725.

Israel's Ministry of Health reported 7,575 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total cases in the country to 582,293.

The COVID-19 death toll in Israel reached 4,232 after 58 new fatalities were added, while the total recoveries surged by 12,286 to 496,785.

The number of people vaccinated against the COVID-19 in Israel has surpassed 2.4 million, or 25.8 percent of its population, the ministry said.

Morocco announced on Thursday 1,164 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally in the North African country to 463,706.

The total recoveries from the coronavirus in Morocco increased to 439,301 after 1,346 new ones were added, while the death toll rose by 33 to 8,076, the Moroccan Ministry of Health said.

Saudi Arabia recorded 212 new infections and four more deaths, raising its total COVID-19 cases to 365,775 and its death toll to 6,342. The total number of recoveries in the kingdom rose to 357,337 with the addition of 160 new recoveries.

Jordan reported 776 new COVID-19 cases and 11 more fatalities on Thursday, raising its tally of coronavirus infections to 318,181 and its death toll to 4,198. Jordan's total recoveries climbed by 1,092 to 304,200.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported 3,529 new COVID-19 cases and four more fatalities from the virus, taking its tally on infections to 267,258 and its death toll to 766. The total recoveries in the UAE increased by 3,901 to 239,322.

Kuwait reported 570 new COVID-19 cases, raising the tally of infections to 159,834, while the death toll remained at 951. The Kuwaiti Health Ministry also announced the recovery of 406 more patients, taking the total recoveries to 152,826.

In Oman, the health ministry reported 169 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total confirmed cases in the country to 132,486.

Oman's COVID-19 death toll increased by one to 1,517, while its total recoveries rose by 151 to 124,730, said the ministry in a statement.

The Qatari Health Ministry announced 258 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 148,258.

Its total recoveries surged by 128 to 144,478, while the death toll remained unchanged at 248 for the fourth day running, according to a ministry statement.

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