Roundup: Turkey says 2nd batch of Chinese vaccines to arrive; Israel to start vaccination for high school students

By Liu Lu

CAIRO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Friday that 10 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive from China by the end of this week. Meanwhile, Israel's Ministry of Health said it has launched vaccination operation for all high school students aged 16 and over.

Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Erdogan said the second batch of the vaccines, developed by the Chinese producer company Sinovac, has been approved.

"Probably toward the end of this week, they may come. Our expectation is the arrival of 10 million doses," he stressed.

After receiving the first batch of 3 million doses of vaccines from China at the end of December, Turkey launched the mass vaccination program on Jan. 14.

Erdogan noted that the vaccine rollout is ongoing as planned, and the inoculation of elderly people is still continuing.

Turkey, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, announced Friday 5,967 new COVID-19 cases and 149 more deaths, pushing its tally of infections to 2,418,472 and death toll to 24,789. The total recoveries from the disease in Turkey climbed to 2,296,050.

Meanwhile, Israel has launched a COVID-19 vaccination operation for all high school students aged 16 and over, the state's Ministry of Health said on Friday.

The vaccination, which will cover more than 300,000 students, is expected to begin in the coming days. On Jan. 10, Israel announced vaccination operation for all teachers and other educational workers.

The ministry reported 6,735 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally in the country to 589,028.

The death toll from the COVID-19 in Israel reached 4,266 after 34 new fatalities were added, while the number of patients in serious condition increased from 1,156 to 1,182, out of 1,822 hospitalized patients.

The total recoveries rose to 504,820, with 8,035 newly recovered cases, while the active cases decreased to 79,942. The number of people vaccinated against the COVID-19 in Israel has surpassed 2.46 million, or 26.5 percent of its total population, since the vaccination campaign began on Dec. 20, 2020.

Iranian health authorities announced 6,305 new COVID-19 confirmed cases, raising the country's overall count to 1,360,825 infections.

Of the newly infected in the past 24 hours, 589 required hospitalization, Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said at her daily briefing.

And 75 new deaths related to the coronavirus were registered, raising the death toll in Iran to 57,225, she noted. A total of 1,151,676 patients have recovered from the disease and been released from hospitals, but 4,134 others are currently in critical condition.

The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported 685 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 612,092.

It also reported seven new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 12,984, and 1,567 more recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 578,292.

Morocco reported 1,138 new COVID-19 cases, taking the number of infections in the country to 464,844.

It's health ministry said that the total number of recoveries from COVID-19 increased to 440,652 after 1,351 new ones were added. The death toll rose by 29 to 8,105.

The Qatari health ministry announced 263 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 148,521.

It said 141 more recovered from the virus, bringing the overall recoveries to 144,619, while the fatalities remained 248.

Kuwait's COVID-19 cases increased by 533 to 160,367, while the death toll rose by one to 952.

The Kuwaiti Health Ministry also announced the recovery of 481 more patients, taking the total recoveries to 153,307.

Lebanon registered 3,220 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 272,461, the Health Ministry reported. The death toll from the virus went up by 57 to 2,208.

Lebanon has extended its total lockdown until Feb. 8 to curb the number of COVID-19 infections amid a collapse in the health sector which is incapable of offering its services to all patients.

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