COVID-19 cases exceed 170,000 in Iran, Turkey; Saudi Arabia's tally surpasses 100,000

An Iranian young man wears a protective face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as he uses his smartphone in Tehran, Iran, May 20, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - As the COVID-19 continues to spread in the Middle East, Iran and Turkey have both seen their confirmed cases surpassing 170,000, while Saudi Arabia's total cases exceeded 100,000 on Sunday.

Iran's confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 171,789 on Sunday after an overnight registration of 2,364 new infections, official IRNA news agency reported.

The pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 8,281 Iranians, up by 72 in the past 24 hours. Besides, 134,349 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals while 2,596 remain in critical condition.

Iran's health officials have urged the people to wear face masks in public places, particularly in the public transport vehicles as the country has started to restart businesses and social activities.

Turkey's COVID-19 cases increased by 914 to a total of 170,132 on Sunday, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Meanwhile, 23 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 4,692, the minister tweeted.

A total of 2,647 patients recovered, raising the total recoveries to 137,969 in Turkey, Koca said, noting that 613 patients are being treated at the intensive care units and 274 are intubated.

Turkish people enjoyed a curfew-free weekend as the country on Friday announced to cancel an initially planned weekend lockdown.

Lockdowns had been imposed for weekends and national holidays in the country since mid-April.

As people rushed to streets and parks at the weekend, Koca urged the citizens to stick to social distancing. "Let's not overdo the normalization," he tweeted.

Saudi Arabia registered 3,045 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total cases to 101,914, the health ministry tweeted.

Its death toll reached 712 after the reporting of 36 new fatalities. The recoveries increased to 72,817 with 1,026 newly recovered cases.

Egypt on Sunday registered 1,467 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 34,079, said the health ministry.

Death toll from the disease in the country rose to 1,237 after 39 fatalities were added. A total of 8,691 recoveries have been registered in Egypt.

The Israeli Ministry of Health reported that the number of coronavirus patients increased to 17,836 in the country on Sunday, after 111 new patients were detected.

According to the ministry, the number of death cases increased from 295 to 298. The number of recoveries increased to 15,091, with 41 new recoveries.

Iraq's Health Ministry on Sunday said that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country climbed to 12,366 after setting a new record of daily increase with 1,268 infections.

The ministry said in a statement that 28 people died from the coronavirus during the day, bringing the death toll in the country to 346, while 5,186 patients have recovered.

Qatar's health ministry on Sunday announced 1,595 new infections of COVID-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 68,790.

"Some 1,811 people recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 44,338, while three others died, raising the fatalities up to 54," the ministry said in a statement.

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday announced 540 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 38,808.

The ministry also confirmed one more death, pushing the country's death toll to 276.

Kuwait on Sunday reported 717 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 31,848 and the death toll to 264, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The Omani Ministry of Health announced on Sunday 866 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 16,882.

The ministry also said that three new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 75.

Morocco on Sunday announced 73 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in the North African country to 8,224. The country's COVID-19 death toll stood at 208.

Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased on Sunday by 11 cases to 1,331 while the death toll rose by one to 30.