Cairo – Iran said on Friday that it was closer to the containment of the COVID-19 outbreak in most of the country.
Meanwhile, Turkey is poised to overtake Iran as the hardest-hit country in the Middle East due to rapid growth of new cases.
Iran on Friday reported 1,499 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 79,494, including 4,958 deaths.
Iranian Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki said that the Islamic republic is closer to containing the pandemic in most of its provinces.
“Despite circumstances arising from sanctions and economic warfare, no patient was left abandoned behind hospital doors and no patient lacked needed drugs and medical care during the peak of the virus across cities,” Namaki said.
He said that Iran’s virus response was developed on scientific models and years of past experience in “eradicating infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, polio, measles, mumps and tetanus.”
Meanwhile, in Turkey, 4,353 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number to 78,546.
The death toll surged to 1,769, after 126 more deaths were reported.
In addition, 8,631 patients have recovered from the novel coronavirus, while 1,845 are being treated at intensive care units and 1,014 intubated.
Turkey is set to replace Iran as the top country in the region with the most confirmed coronavirus cases as it has been witnessing daily fast growth in the new infections since it reported the first case on March 11.
In Israel, 224 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 12,982.
Eight new deaths were recorded, raising the country’s death toll from the coronavirus to 151.
The latest figures show a significant decline in the number of patients in serious condition, to 168 from 180 as of Thursday.
Also, the number of ventilated patients dropped from 136 to 122, the ministry said.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 477 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 6,302. Two more patients died from COVID-19, raising the country’s death toll to 37.
UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention said that 93 more patients made full recovery from the virus, taking the tally of the UAE’s recoveries to 1,188.
In Morocco, the Health Ministry announced 281 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number in the country to 2,564, which include 135 deaths and 281 recoveries.
This was the biggest single-day rise in the new cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in the North African country on March 2.
Egypt confirmed 171 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 2,844. Nine more patients died from the virus, taking the death toll to 205.
Egypt is currently under a nationwide 10-hour curfew for two weeks until April 23 over COVID-19 concerns.
Kuwait reported two more COVID-19 deaths and 134 new cases, bringing the tally of confirmed infections to 1,658 and total deaths to five.
The Omani Ministry of Health announced 50 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 1,069. The death toll rose to six, after two new deaths were recorded.
In Iraq, the Health Ministry confirmed 48 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 1,482.
The Iraqi authorities have taken several measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, including a nationwide curfew until the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to be April 24 or 25.
To help Iraq cope with the coronavirus pandemic, a Chinese team of seven medical experts have been working with their Iraqi counterparts since March 7.
Palestine on Friday recorded 12 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number to 402.
The new cases are Palestinian workers in Israel who returned to their homes and their contacts.
Jordan said on Friday that it would start a programme soon to bring home Jordanian students and expatriates stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A website will be launched to receive requests from those wishing to return home.
Jordan’s Health Minister Saad Jaber reported five new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the tally of confirmed cases in Jordan to 407. (Xinhua/NAN)