Iran closer to COVID-19 containment, Turkey may become worst-hit in M-E

Tehran/Ankara, April 18 (IANS) Iranian authorities have said that they were closer to the contain the COVID-19 pandemic in most of the country, while, Turkey was 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, with 4,958 deaths, reports Xinhua news agency.

“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,” Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed 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”.

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.

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.



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