ISSN 2330-717X

New Cases Of Coronavirus Reported In Iran, Egypt, As Middle East Steps Up Efforts Against The Outbreak


Countries across the Middle East were on high alert as the disease continues to spread around the world. Governments have asked people to follow precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the virus, including avoiding crowded public spaces.

Friday, March 6 (all times in GMT)

21:10 – UAE’s health ministry announces 15 new cases of coronavirus in the emirates.

20:00 –  Iraq reported eight new coronavirus cases on Friday: 5 in Baghdad, 2 in Sulaimaniya and one case in Karbala, the state news agency reported quoting the health ministry.

19:54 –  Iraq reported a death by coronavirus in the city of Karbala, bringing the total death count by coronavirus to three in the country, state news agency reported on Friday.

18:00 – Crossing more borders, the new coronavirus hit a milestone Friday, infecting more than 100,000 people worldwide as it wove itself deeper into the daily lives of millions, infecting the powerful, the unprotected poor and vast masses in between.

17:50 – Iraq has banned travellers coming from France and Spain from entering the country, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, bringing the total number of countries on its entry ban list to 11 as it tries to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The ban does not extend to Iraqi citizens and foreign diplomats, a ministry spokesman said in a statement. Iraq has so far recorded 38 cases of coronavirus and two deaths.

17:00 – The death toll in Italy from the virus rises to 197 from the 148 reported on Thursday, according to a government official.

14:30 – The northwestern Chinese province of Gansu has confirmed 17 new coronavirus cases imported from Iran, bringing the total imported cases to 28, the province’s health authorities said late on Friday.

13:45 – The number of people infected by the new coronavirus globally surpassed 100,000 on Friday, according to a Reuters tally based on statements from health ministries and government officials.

12:55 – South Africa’s first coronavirus case came from Italy via Dubai to the main airport in the eastern city of Durban, the health minister said on Friday.

12:00 – Representatives of Iraq’s top Shiite cleric did not deliver his weekly sermon in Karbala on Friday, a first since the fall of Saddam Hussein, due to fears of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Religious authorities had already closed the shrine of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, where the sermon is usually delivered, to mitigate the risk of contagion.

On Friday, representatives who usually read Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s address, broadcast live on state television, did not appear.

11:31 – Iran warned it could use ‘force’ to halt travel amid coronavirus outbreak.

11:25 – Egypt’s health ministry announced 12 new coronavirus cases detected on a ship sailing from Aswan to Luxor.

11:14 – Precautionary measures continue at Makkah mosque with regular sanitation, Saudi preacher said.

11:03 – Iran says the new coronavirus has killed 124 people amid 4,747 confirmed cases in the country.

10:24 – Cameroon has confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus, a French national who arrived in the capital Yaounde in February, the government said on Friday.

The man, 58, has been placed in isolation in a hospital, the health ministry said in a statement.

10:12 – An 86-year-year old man infected with the coronavirus died in the Netherlands on Friday, the country’s first known fatality from the epidemic, the National Health Institute said.

He died in hospital in the port city of Rotterdam.

09:25 – The Vatican said on Friday that a patient in its health services had tested positive for coronavirus.

Spokesman Matteo Bruni said the discovery was made on Thursday and that outpatient services in Vatican clinics had been suspended to sanitize the areas. He said its emergency services will continue, adding that the Vatican had informed Italian health authorities.

09:18 – An adviser to Iran’s foreign minister who took part in the 1979 US embassy hostage crisis has died from coronavirus, the official IRNA news agency reported.

07:04 – Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed said he discussed in a phone call with Microsoft’s Bill Gates the importance of “enhancing cooperation between multilateral institutions and private entities in the global fight against all diseases and [coronavirus] in particular.”

12:32 – Israel has imposed a lockdown on the city of Bethlehem over coronavirus fears as Palestinian authorities announced a two-week ban on tourists and shuttered the Church of the Nativity.

Thursday, March 5 (all times in GMT)

20:59 – The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority has denied social media reports about banning entry of people arriving from Egypt to the country, saying the reports are false and misleading, state news agency WAM reported.Volume 90% 

20:30 – Qatar’s government communications office said that in line with the country’s efforts to take all the “necessary preventive measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus, all Qatari and GCC citizens entering Qatar or traveling to other Gulf countries should use their passports and not their ID cards as of 6 March 2020.

15:16 – Bahrain’s Ministry of Education announced that all public and private educational institutions will be closed for an additional two weeks, until March 29.

13:56 – Oman’s Ministry of Health reported a new case of coronavirus bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 16. The patient is a citizen who arrived from Milan.

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Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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