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Iran’s COVID-19 cases surpass 38,000; Turkey’s 10,000

Cairo, March 30 (IANS) Iran announced 2,901 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the total number of confirmed cases soared to 38,309; Meanwhile, the total number of infections in Turkey approached 10,000.

Also, the death toll from the disease reached 2,640 in Iran, while 12,391 patients have recovered.

Earlier in the day, Iranian Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said the number of infected people has taken a downward trend in 13 Iranian provinces, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned the US insistence on anti-Iran sanctions amid the COVID-19 outbreak as “medical terror,” once again urging the international community to disregard the “illegal” US sanctions.

Kianoush Jahanpour, spokesman for the Iranian Health Ministry, said Iran is developing a stem-cell therapy that uses mesenchymal stromal cells to treat the patients infected with COVID-19.

Doctors in Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran announced that they are considering the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma, taken from those who have recovered from the disease, to treat the newly infected patients.

In Damascus, a Syrian woman died upon arrival at a hospital over COVID-19, which is the first death case in the country. Meanwhile, four new cases were reported, raising the total number of infections in Syria to nine.

Turkey, the second hardest-hit country in the Middle East, reported 1,815 new cases of COVID-19 infection, as the total number surged to 9,217. Meanwhile, 23 more people died in Turkey from the highly infectious disease, raising the death toll to 131.

In its biggest single-day rise, Israel reported 628 new cases on Sunday, raising the total number of COVID-19 infections to 4,247. The death toll rose to 15, up by two from Saturday.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Morocco rose to 463 on Sunday, up by 104 from Saturday, while the death toll increased to 26 after two more deaths were reported.

The United Arab Emirates announced 102 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 570, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said.

Qatar reported 44 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number to 634, of whom one has died and 48 have died.

Iraq's Health Ministry confirmed 41 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of the infections to 547, of whom 42 have died and 143 have recovered.

Tunisia reported 34 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 312.

In Cairo, Egypt announced 33 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total number of infections to 609, including 40 deaths.

The Central Bank of Egypt set new temporary limits for daily cash withdrawals and deposits for businesses and individuals as part of its efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. The daily limit for deposits and cash withdrawals for individuals is 10,000 Egyptian pounds (636 U.S. dollars) and 50,000 pounds for companies.

Kuwait reported 20 new COVID-19 cases, as the total number of confirmed cases in the country climbed to 255, of whom 67 have recovered.

Oman reported 15 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 167, of whom 23 have recovered.

Jordan confirmed the second death from the novel coronavirus and 13 new cases of infection, raising the total to 259.

Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said all those who were quarantined at hotels in Amman and the Dead Sea will be sent home starting Monday after completing the necessary period in quarantine.

Palestine on Sunday recorded six new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 104.

Matthias Schmale, head of of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, said he was gravely concerned about the spread of the virus in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza Strip, because of its vulnerable situation as a result of the 13-year-old Israeli blockade.

The UN-backed government of Libya announced five new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to eight. It also issued a ban on people's movement between cities in order to fight the COVID-19, while extending the previously imposed curfew, which will last 2 p.m. to 7 a.m. as of Monday.

Tunisian Minister of Health Abdellatif Mekki said on Sunday that his ministry will soon start using new COVID-19 testing kits, which can produce results in just 10 minutes.

A day earlier, Tunisian presidency announced that it received a batch of medical supplies and equipment from China to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

–IANS

rt/

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