Iran's COVID-19 cases surpass 20,000, though signs of slowdown emerge

Xinhua
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Iran reached 20,610 on Saturday, though heath officials said the pandemic is showing signs of slowing down.
Xinhua
Iran's COVID-19 cases surpass 20,000, though signs of slowdown emerge
Xinhua

A man walks past an empty street in Tehran, Iran, on March 20, 2020. 

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Iran reached 20,610 on Saturday, though heath officials said the pandemic is showing signs of slowing down.

The Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education said that the death toll from the novel coronavirus increased to 1,556, while the number of the cured people rose to 7,635.

However, the pace of COVID-19 outbreak was slowing down in almost all provinces, including the hardest-hit provinces like Tehran and Mazandaran, Iran's Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi was quoted by state TV as saying.

Turkey on Saturday confirmed 21 deaths from COVID-19, while the total number of the confirmed cases in the country soared to 947, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

"In the past 24 hours, tests were made for 2,953 suspected cases and 277 of them came out positive. Our number of patients reached 947. We lost 12 of our elderly patients (today). We have lost a total of 21 lives so far," Koca tweeted.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Health and Prevention announced the first two deaths from COVID-19, including a 78-year-old Arab national who had arrived from Europe and the other was a 58-year-old Asian national who lived in the UAE.

At the same time, 13 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the UAE, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 153, of whom 38 have recovered. The UAE also decided to temporarily suspend the entry of Gulf Cooperation Council citizens to prevent COVID-19 spread.

Israel reported 178 new coronavirus cases, bringing to 883 the total number of confirmed cases. On Friday night, an 88-year-old man from Jerusalem died from the viral respiratory disease, becoming the first victim in Israel.

Algerian health authorities said the novel coronavirus has killed 15 people, while the total number of confirmed cases increased to 139, up by 49 cases from Friday.

In Rabat, Moroccan Ministry of Health confirmed 22 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 96, three of whom have died.

Kuwaiti Health Ministry reported 17 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 176, of whom 27 have recovered.

In Amman, Jordanian Health Minister Saad Jaber said 15 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 99.

Egypt said that nine new coronavirus cases were detected on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 294, of whom 10 have died after two more deaths were reported.

Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the closure of all museums, archeological sites and attractions nationwide from March 22 to March 31. All Egyptian mosques and churches suspended mass prayers for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures to stem the virus spread.

Tunisian health authorities said that six more cases of COVID-19 were detected, as the total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 60.

Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed six more COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 214.

The Omani Ministry of Health announced four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 52.

Five new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the West Bank, as the total number of infections in the Palestinian territories increased to 53. All sports events and facilities will be halted for safety reasons.

Jordan on Saturday asked the public not to leave their homes as hundreds of people have been arrested for violating the curfew. Jordan's Minister of State for Media Affairs said that legal actions will be taken against all violators.

Though no novel coronavirus case has been reported in Syria, the Syrian government ordered the closure of marketplaces and suspension of trade, services, and social activities, in order to prevent COVID-19 outbreak.  

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