Nurses wearing protective suits, prepare a patient with coronavirus disease to be transferred to Masih Daneshvari Hospital, in Tehran, Iran, on March 23, 2020. (Photos: Agencies)
CAIRO -- As COVID-19 sweeps the Middle East, the two worst-hit countries in the region both suffer relentless spread, but witness different trends.
In Iran, the total number of COVID-19 cases reached 70,029 on Saturday, as the death toll hit 4,357, according to the latest figure from Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education.
But the virus' spread in the country presented a slower speed. In the past 24 hours, the number of those tested positive was 1,837, the fourth day in a row seeing daily increase less than 2,000.
Meanwhile, 41,947 of all the reported cases have recovered and left hospitals, while 3,987 others are in critical condition.
However, the situation worsens in Turkey, which announced its first COVID-19 case one month ago.
Turkish health minister on Saturday announced 5,138 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise after three consecutive days of over 4,000 new infections every day.
So far, the total number of confirmed cases in Turkey has reached 52,167, while the death toll surged to 1,101, said the minister, adding 2,965 patients have recovered and 1,626 others are still in ICU.
Israel, the third worst-hit country in the Middle East, also registered an alert number on Saturday.
Its health ministry announced the tally of COVID-19 cases in Israel has hit 10,743, of whom 101 have died and 1,341 others have recovered.
And the lack of test reagents makes the situation worse. The coronavirus tests taken in Israel have dropped by nearly 4,000 on a daily basis during the past week, the ministry said, adding the state has sought help from China and Korea on this issue.
As the first Gulf country to announce COVID-19 cases, the United Arab Emirates on Saturday announced 376 new COVID-19 cases, so the total number in the country hit 3,736.
The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention said in a statement that 20 patients have died from the pandemic and 588 others have recovered.
Algeria has registered 1,825 COVID-19 cases, while the death toll surged to 275, after 64 new infections and seven new deaths were confirmed during the past 24 hours.
And 460 patients have recovered and left hospitals, its latest data showed.
Moroccan Ministry of Health confirmed on Saturday 97 new cases of COVID-19, raising the tally to 1,545 in the country.
The ministry said a total of 111 deaths from COVID-19 were reported while 146 patients have recovered so far.
An Iraqi doctor sticks labels on locally made testing components for the coronavirus disease, as it's produced by a group of researchers from Basra Universities, in Basra, Iraq, on March 29, 2020.
Iraqi Health Ministry on Saturday said that a total of 1,318 COVID-19 cases were confirmed and up to 72 deaths were recorded in Iraq.
So far, 601 patients have recovered, it added.
Kuwaiti health ministry reported on Saturday 161 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 1,154.
And 133 patients have recovered as 1,020 others are receiving treatment, including 26 in ICU, it added.
In Cairo, spokesman for Egyptian Health Ministry reported 145 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 new deaths.
The total number of confirmed cases in the country has hit 1,939 and the death toll stood at 146, as 426 patients have recovered, said the spokesman.
Tunisian Health Ministry reported on Saturday 14 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 685.
The ministry added that 43 patients have recovered in Tunisia while 28 deaths from the coronavirus were registered.
Also on Saturday, a Tunisian medical mission of volunteer doctors and nurse headed to Italy to support the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Lebanon's COVID-19 infections increased on Saturday by 10 cases to 619 while the death toll remained at 20.
Lebanon is expected to receive on Saturday four flights with Lebanese expats from Kuwait, Italy, UAE and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In Oman, the confirmed cases rose by 62 to 546, of whom three have died and 109 others have recovered.
The total number of the COVID-19 cases in the Palestinian territories has reached 268 after a new case was detected in the West Bank on Saturday, while 57 cases have recovered.
Six new COVID-19 cases were reported in Syria on Saturday, and of the total 25 patients, two have died and four recovered, the country's health ministry said in a statement.
Official SUNA news agency reported the total number of COVID-19 cases in Sudan has risen to 19 while the death toll remained at two.