A man wearing a face mask feeds pigeons on a square in Ankara, Turkey, on May 9, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
CAIRO, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, surpassed 149,000 while the tally in Iran crossed 120,000 on Sunday.
Turkey on Sunday confirmed 1,368 new COVID-19 cases and 44 more deaths in the past 24 hours, according to Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkey rose to 149,435, while the death toll surged to 4,140, Koca tweeted.
A total of 1,825 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, the minister noted.
Iran on Sunday registered 1,806 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 120,198.
Meanwhile, 51 new fatalities were reported over the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 6,988 in Iran. A total of 94,464 patients have recovered from the disease, while 2,705 are still in critical condition.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Israel reached 16,617 on Sunday, the state's Ministry of Health said.
The death toll in Israel increased from 268 to 272, while the number of patients in serious condition decreased from 59 to 55.
Earlier on Sunday, fourth to 10th grade school classes were resumed in some localities in Israel, with all schools in the state scheduled to return to full activity by Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia registered on Sunday 2,736 new COVID-19 cases, increasing the total infections to 54,752 with 312 deaths in the kingdom.
Saudi health minister said that due to medical care, his country sees one of the lowest coronavirus mortality rates in the world.
The United Arab Emirates on Sunday announced 731 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 23,358 with 220 deaths.
Kuwait on Sunday reported 1,048 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 14,850 and the death toll to 112.
Kuwait has launched its first drive-through coronavirus testing center at the Kuwait International Airport to beef up the country's COVID-19 testing capability.
Egypt witnessed on Sunday a daily record of 510 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total cases registered in the country to 12,229. Meanwhile, 18 patients died from the novel coronavirus in Egypt, raising the death toll to 630.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Sunday the government will impose a stricter package of anti-COVID-19 measures during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.
The Iraqi Health Ministry on Sunday recorded 144 cases of COVID-19, the highest daily increase so far, as Baghdad for the first time recorded more than 100 cases.
So far, the total number of confirmed cases in the country reached 3,404, while 123 people have died from the disease and 2,218 have recovered.
Qatar's health ministry on Sunday announced 1,632 new infections of COVID-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 32,604, while the fatalities remain at 15.
The Moroccan Ministry of Health confirmed on Sunday 129 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 6,870 with 192 deaths in the country.
The Omani Ministry of Health announced on Sunday 157 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 5,186 with 22 deaths.
Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased on Sunday by nine to 911 while the death toll remained at 26.
Jordan on Sunday confirmed six new coronavirus cases, increasing the total number of cases to 613.
Seven new COVID-19 cases were registered in Syria on Sunday, bringing the overall number of cases to 58, the health ministry said in a statement, adding that Syria has so far recorded 36 recoveries and three deaths from COVID-19.
Yemen's health authorities on Sunday recorded six new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total confirmed cases in the war-ravaged Arab country to 128. The death toll climbed to 20 in different areas of the government-controlled provinces.