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Iran urges regional cooperation for security

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday urged regional countries’ cooperation for the security in the region, official IRNA news agency reported.

The security of the region, particularly for the maritime routes, is of high significance for the Islamic republic, said Rouhani in a telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Iran has always expressed readiness for closer and collective cooperation with the neighboring states to ensure the security in the Middle East region, Rouhani was quoted as saying.

The Iranian officials have repeatedly announced that the presence of the non-regional powers in the Gulf is the cause of insecurity for the regional states.

(XINHUA)

Olawale Olukoga: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Iran allows reopening of restaurants, cafes after 2 months of closure over COVID-19

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Restaurants and cafes reopened in Iran on Tuesday after over two months of closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mohsen Farhadi, an Iranian deputy health minister, on Tuesday said that all the restaurants will restart their activities observing certain health protocols.

Besides, the cafes will begin their services without offering tobacco, said Farhadi in a video press conference. The use of Hukka is very popular in the Iranian tea houses and cafes.

Iran has gradually eased restrictions on economy and cultural activities since early April. The country suspended economic, sports and cultural activities since early March following the reports of first COVID-19 cases on Feb. 19.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Iran reopens Muslim shrines on Eid al-Fitr after 2-month closure over COVID-19 pandemic

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The Iranian authorities on Monday allowed partial reopening of the Muslim Shiite shrines across the country after more than two months of closure over the coronavirus pandemic.

During the opening hours between an hour after dawn and an hour before dusk, the worshippers, however, were still not allowed to enter the interior covered spaces where the saints’ tombs lie, according to a statement by the health authorities.

Social distancing regulations must be obeyed, the statement noted.

In most of the shrines, the worshippers were checked for their body temperatures upon entrance and were asked to wear masks, the local media reported.

The reopening coincided with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the Muslim festival of breaking the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Along with other holy shrines across the country, Imamzadeh Saleh, an imamzadeh mosque located at Tajrish Square in Tehran’s northern Tajrish district, opened early morning on Monday.

The courtyard of the shrine had already been disinfected and incoming people were asked by the attendants to use their own prayer mats and books.

“Life without spirituality has no meaning. Worship is central to our life,” said a middle-aged attendant of the shrine, standing inside the courtyard and instructing the worshippers with health directives.

Iran’s health authorities announced the closure of all shrines across the country on March 17 as the country was struggling to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Sitting on a stretched prayer mat at a quiet corner of the yard of Imamzadeh Saleh, a young man facing toward the saint’s tomb was citing verses from the holy Quran.

“Praise God for this moment, on this happy Eid. People should appreciate the change of situation,” said the young man, who only identified himself as Matin, a Persian Literature student at Iran’s Islamic Azad University.

The Iranian health ministry on Monday confirmed a total of 137,724 cases of the COVID-19 in the Islamic republic, including 7,451 deaths.

(XINHUA)

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Iran’s confirmed COVID-19 cases hit 137,724

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The Iranian health ministry on Monday reported 2,023 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number in the country to 137,724 since the outbreak in late February, state TV reported.

Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said 34 patients died over the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 7,451.

Jahanpur updated the number of recovered people to 107,713, adding that 2,585 are still under intense care in hospitals.

The number of lab tests administered across the country stands at 818,917 as of Monday.

Iran announced its first cases of COVID-19 on Feb. 19.

(XINHUA)

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Spotlight: Iran’s tankers’ cross into Venezuela waters “defies” U.S. sanctions: Iranian expert

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An Iranian expert says the arrival of Iran’s fuel tankers to the Venezuelan shores has defied U.S. sanction pressures against Tehran and Caracas.

The deal between Iran and Venezuela which came amid unprecedented U.S. sanctions on both states is primarily a “humiliation’ of U.S. policies, Foad Izadi, a professor at the Faculty of World Studies of the University of Tehran, said in an interview on Sunday.

On Sunday, the first vessel of Iranian five-tanker flotilla loaded with gasoline crossed into the Venezuelan territorial waters, escorted by the the Venezuelan navy. On Monday, two other tankers entered the Caribbean Sea and are heading to the Latin American country’s refinery ports.

Squeezed under economic pressures, both Iran and Venezuela struggle to evade the impacts of embargos by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Islamic republic has a surplus of oil and gasoline, due to a significant drop in its exports pursuant to the sanctions and global economic setback caused by novel coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Venezuela is in dire need of fuel because of its aged refinery facilities and inefficient energy management, which has made it rely on its imports.

Under these circumstances, Tehran and Caracas made a “win-win deal,” according to Izadi, at the end of last year, and the Iranian-flagged vessels left the southern ports of the country in mid-March to the Caribbean shores.

Last week, the White House announced that President Nicolas Maduro was using gold from central bank reserves to pay Iran, and the United States was considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to crisis-stricken Venezuela.

However, Iranians warned the United States against any move which may cause trouble for the Venezuela-bound Iranian fuel vessels.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that “if Americans create problems for our oil tankers in the Caribbean waters or in other parts of the world, we will reciprocally create problems for them.”

In the meantime, Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said the naval forces of the country would escort the Iranian tankers “to welcome them … and their solidarity” with Venezuela amid the U.S. sanctions.

Izadi said that “the successful measure by Iran (to supply its petrol to Venezuela) would ultimately result in the failure of U.S. sanction mechanism.”

“This also shows that the U.S. ‘maximum pressure campaign’ has been seriously challenged by the Islamic republic,” he said, adding that Tehran could maintain this “pragmatic win-win” policy.

Iran’s “successful” move will serve as an example for other countries who are under the duress of the United States, he added.

(XINHUA)

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Eid al-Fitr marked in Tehran, Iran

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Turkey, Iran presidents discuss cooperation against COVID-19 pandemic

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed cooperation possibilities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic on the phone, local media reported on Sunday.

Both leaders reviewed the possible steps that would be taken in the postpandemic era, the state-run Anadolu agency said.

Erdogan and Rouhani also discussed regional issues and bilateral relations, the agency added.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Okunomo, Ondo PDP governorship aspirant, felicitate Muslims on Eld-El Fitri

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Mr Banji Okunomo, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ondo State, has congratulated Muslim faithful on this year’s Eid-El-Fitri celebrations.
Okunomo, in his congratulatory message made available to newsmen on Sunday in Okitipupa, said that the Ramadan period as a difficult time, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
While urging the Muslims to keep hope alive, he said that their prayers against the pandemic had been answered, assuring that the difficult time would soon be a thing of the past.
Okunomo, also a former Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, urged Muslims to give thanks to God for the grace of witnessing and celebrating the Eid-El Fitri amid the pandemic.
“I felicitate Muslims in our dear state, as they join the rest of the world in celebrating the Eld-El-Fitr amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is indeed a difficult time but your prayers have been answered. So keep hope alive, because the difficult time will soon be over,” the aspirant said.
Okunomo, who sought for the cooperation of Muslims in the state, promised that their marginalisation would be over, if given the mandate as the PDP flag bearer and he eventually became governor of the state.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Iran reports 2,180 new COVID-19 cases, 135,701 in total

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Iran on Sunday registered 2,180 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 135,701 since its outbreak in late February.

Meanwhile, 58 new fatalities were confirmed over the past 24 hours, taking the death toll from the coronavirus to 7,417, according the health ministry.

Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the ministry, said a total of 105,801 patients have recovered from the infectious disease, while 2,615 are still in critical condition.

So far, 800,519 lab tests for COVID-19 have been carried out in Iran, he noted.

Iran announced its first cases of COVID-19 on Feb. 19.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

5.1-magnitude quake hits 3 km northwest of Do Gonbadan, Iran — USGS

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 jolted 3 km northwest of Do Gonbadan, Iran at 09:11:28 GMT on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 30.3873 degrees north latitude and 50.7777 degrees east longitude.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

People shop for Eid al-Fitr at Tajrish bazaar in Tehran, Iran

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A man sells grocery ahead of Eid al-Fitr at Tajrish bazaar in Tehran, Iran, May 23, 2020. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua)

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Foreign

Iran warns U.S. against causing trouble for Iran’s Venezuela-bound fuel vessels

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday warned the United States against causing trouble for the Venezuela-bound Iranian fuel vessels, official IRNA news agency reported.

“If the United States causes any problem for our oil tankers in the Caribbean Sea or any other parts of the world, it will run into trouble reciprocally,” the Iranian president said in a telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

While highlighting Iran’s right to defend its national interests, Rouhani said his country will never be the initiator of any conflict with the United States.

He expressed the hope that “the Americans would not make a mistake” concerning the Iranian vessels.

The White House announced last week that the United States was considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to crisis-stricken Venezuela.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Iran to reopen touristic sites, holy shrines after 3-month closure over COVID-19

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Iran’s touristic sites, including museums and historical sites, will reopen on Sunday after nearly three months of closure over the COVID-19 pandemic, Press TV reported.

The announcement was made by President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday at a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus.

Holy shrines will reopen on Monday, according to Rouhani.

The holy shrines would be open for three hours in the mornings and three hours in the afternoons, he said earlier.

Meanwhile, all workers in the country will return to work from May 30, the president noted.

Iran has implemented three stages regarding the coronavirus epidemic, according to Rouhani.

The first stage was announcing the disease and mobilizing the nation’s capacities to rein in the outbreak. The second involved controlling the disease through social distancing measures, and the third required smart distancing accompanied by gradual reopening of the country.

In the fourth stage, the authorities will aim to contain the novel coronavirus, he noted.

The growth of mortality rate over the virus in the country has begun to decline and hospitalizations are becoming shorter, Rouhani said.

On Saturday, Iran announced a total of 133,521 coronavirus infections since Feb. 19, of whom 7,359 have died.

(XINHUA)

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Iran reports 1,869 new COVID-19 cases, 59 new deaths

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Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education confirmed 1,869 novel coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 133,521, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the ministry, reported 59 new deaths, taking the total to 7,359, while 2,633 patients are under intensive care in the hospitals.

A total of 104,072 people have recovered, he said.

The number of lab tests administered across the country stands at 781,286 as of Saturday.

Iran announced its first cases of COVID-19 on Feb. 19.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Roundup: Turkey’s COVID-19 cases surpass 154,000 as Iran’s tally exceeds 131,000

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Turkey’s COVID-19 cases on Friday exceeded 154,000 as the daily number of new infections continued to drop below 1,000. Meanwhile, Iran’s tally of confirmed cases surpassed 131,000.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, climbed to 154,500 after 952 new infections were reported, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

This was the third day that Turkey’s daily infections with the novel coronavirus fell below 1,000.

Turkey’s death toll surged to 4,276 after 27 more deaths were added, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

Turkey has launched a financial support package to protect exporters from the impact of coronavirus, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan announced on Friday.

The package, called the Stock Financing Support Package, has come into use through Turkey’s Eximbank, according to a press release issued by the ministry.

The Iranian health ministry on Friday reported 51 new deaths of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 7,300 since the outbreak of the disease in late February.

Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said 2,311 people contracted the virus over the past 24 hours, taking the number of infections to 131,652.

Saudi Arabia continued to be the country in the Middle East with the fastest rise in daily COVID-19 cases, with 2,642 new ones reported on Friday, pushing up the total number to 67,719.

The kingdom also reported 13 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 364. The number of recoveries increased to 39,003 after 2,963 new ones were added.

Qatar’s health ministry on Friday announced 1,830 new infections of COVID-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 40,481.

Kuwait reported 955 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 19,564 and the death toll to 138, the health ministry said in a statement.

Kuwait also announced the recovery of 310 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 5,515.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 994 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 27,892.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said 1,043 more patients fully recovered from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries to 13,798. Four more deaths were recorded, raising the country’s death toll to 241.

Egypt recorded 783 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, the highest daily rise since the pandemic outbreak in February, bringing the total cases to 15,786, Egypt’s health ministry said on Friday.

Egypt also confirmed 11 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking the death toll from the disease to 707, said Khaled Megahed, the health ministry’s spokesman, in a statement.

On Thursday, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang said Chinese companies in the North African country take strict precautionary measures to maintain their work momentum in different projects amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Omani Ministry of Health announced 424 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 6,794.

The Iraqi Health Ministry on Friday recorded 87 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 3,964 in the country.

Lebanon’s number of COVID-19 infections increased on Friday by 62 cases to 1,086 while death toll remained at 26.

A total of 121 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Morocco on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 7,332.

The number of people cured has increased to 4,377 with 97 new recoveries, director of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health Mohamed El Youbi said in his daily briefing.

Libya’s National Center for Disease Control on Friday announced one new COVID-19 case and three recoveries.

The number of confirmed cases in Libya so far is 72, including 38 recoveries and three deaths.

(XINHUA)

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Iran’s armed forces to respond to U.S. military threats: top commander

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Iran’s top military commander said Friday that Iranian armed forces monitor U.S. military movements in and far beyond the region and will respond to their threats against Iran’s interests, Press TV reported.

Iran’s armed forces have “a thorough intelligence command of the status, location, tactics, and movements of enemies, including America, … in the region and remote territories,” Mohammad Baqeri, chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, said in a statement on Friday.

Iran’s armed forces are ready to “give an appropriate response to any miscalculated move by those forces against … Iran’s national interests anywhere in the world,” Baqeri was quoted as saying.

The remarks by the Iranian top commander came after the White House announced last week that the United States was considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to the crisis-stricken Venezuela.

Iran’s defense minister on Wednesday said that moves causing any insecurity to the oil tankers and maritime trade routes is in violation of the international law and would draw reaction of international institutions and countries.

(XINHUA)

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Iran reports 51 new COVID-19 deaths, 7,300 in total

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The Iranian health ministry on Friday reported 51 new deaths of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 7,300 since the outbreak of the disease in late February, state TV reported.

Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said 2,311 people contracted the virus over the past 24 hours, taking the number of infections to 131,652.

Jahanpur updated the number of recovered people to 102,276, adding that 2,659 are still under intensive care in hospitals.

The number of lab tests conducted across the country stands at 763,913 as of Friday.

Iran announced its first cases of COVID-19 on Feb. 19.

(XINHUA)

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Iran’s top leader calls for “resistance” against Israel’s pressure on occupied Palestinian territories

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday called for “resistance” against Israeli pressures on occupied Palestinian territories, according to the leader’s official website.

“My main advice is to continue this struggle” against occupation and to better organize the resistant groups inside Palestinian territories, Khamenei said on the occasion of the International Quds (Jerusalem) Day.

He added Iran will not hesitate in its duty to assist the Palestinians.

Quds Day rallies were held in the capital Tehran on Friday in a symbolic way with motorists driving in convoy to avoid COVID-19 risks.

The day is an annual event observed on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Iran and several Muslim countries to support the Palestinian cause.

(XINHUA)

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Iran says U.S. new sanctions sign of “desperation”

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Iran on Thursday condemned new U.S. sanctions on a number of Iranian institutions and individuals.

The new sanctions are the sign of U.S. “failure, weakness, and desperation” in its policies against the Iranian government and nation, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday.

The fresh sanctions are the results of “influence of incompetent (U.S. administration’s) advisers” and the indication of “futility” of Washington’s previous anti-Iran sanctions, said Mousavi.

The U.S. Treasury announced Wednesday that it would sanction Iran’s interior minister for “human rights abuses.”

The new sanctions also targeted a dozen of individuals including Iranian security and police commanders, as well as three entities including two prisons and a law enforcement group.

(XINHUA)

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Iran’s COVID-19 cases reach 129,341, with 7,249 deaths

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Iran on Thursday registered 66 new deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 7,249, according to the state TV.

During an online press conference, Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, confirmed 2,392 new infection cases, taking the total cases to 129,341.

He said a total of 100,564 patients have recovered so far, while 2,655 are still in critical condition.

According to the health official, the number of administered lab tests across the country stands at 746,045 as of Thursday.

Iran announced its first cases of COVID-19 on Feb. 19.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Turkey’s COVID-19 cases surpass 152,000 as Iran’s tally nudges 127,000

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Turkey’s COVID-19 cases on Wednesday exceeded 152,000 as the daily number of new infections dropped below 1,000. Meanwhile, Iran witnessed a higher surge of coronavirus cases with the tally approaching 127,000.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, climbed to 152,587 after 972 new infections were reported, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

The death toll from the coronavirus in the country rose to 4,222 after 23 more fatalities were added in the past 24 hours, he said.

In Iran, 2,346 new cases of the novel coronavirus were registered, bringing the tally to 126,949.

The country also reported 64 new deaths from the virus on Wednesday, raising the death toll to 7,183. A total of 98,808 coronavirus patients have recovered, with 2,673 still in critical condition.

On the same day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that his country has got closer to the containment of the coronavirus pandemic in Iran.

“During these three months, we have been advancing step by step without a retreat. In general, we’ve made good progress in the face of this dangerous virus and are almost on the verge of containment,” he said.

Saudi Arabia announced 2,691 new cases and 10 more deaths, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 62,545 and the death toll to 339.

The kingdom also reported 1,844 more recovered patients, taking the total recoveries to 33,478.

In Qatar, 1,491 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected, bringing the total number to 37,097, of whom 16 have died and 6,600 recovered.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 941 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 26,004 and the death toll to 233.

Kuwait reported 804 new cases, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 17,568, of whom 124 have died and 4,885 recovered.

The total number of recoveries from the virus in the UAE increased to 11,809 after 1,018 more fully recovered.

Israel reported six new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day rise in the country since March 7, bringing the tally of coronavirus infections to 16,665.

The deaths from the virus in Israel increased from 278 to 279 while the recoveries rose by 139 to 13,574.

It is worth noting that the number of active cases in the country dropped to 2,812, the lowest since March 26.

Earlier on the day, beaches and places of worship were reopened in Israel, under distance restrictions and hygiene measures.

Egypt’s coronavirus cases continued the surging trend to reach 14,229 after a daily record of 745 new infections were added.

The Egyptian Health Ministry also reported 21 more deaths and 252 cases of recoveries, increasing the death toll to 680 and the total recoveries to 3,994.

The North African country has received three batches of medical aid from the Chinese government to help its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Morocco, the tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 7,133 after 110 new cases were added, which included 194 fatalities and 4,098 recoveries.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the European Union and Morocco have signed a finance agreement wroth 100 million euros (110 million U.S. dollars) to upgrade the North African country’s health system.

Oman’s Ministry of Health announced 372 new cases of infections, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 6,043, including 29 deaths and 1,661 recoveries.

Iraq confirmed 113 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections to 3,724, of whom 134 have died and 2,438 recovered.

The country has received batches of medical aid from China and the support from a team of Chinese medical experts during their 50-day stay.

In Lebanon, the number of COVID-19 infections increased by seven to 961, while the death toll remained unchanged at 26.

In Jordan, a total lockdown will be imposed during Eid al-Fitr amid the unprecedented increase in the number of coronavirus cases over the past few days.

The country registered 23 more infections on Wednesday, bringing the total coronavirus cases to 672, including nine deaths and 446 recoveries.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s health authorities recorded 13 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total confirmed cases in the war-ravaged Arab country to 180.

The death toll of the pandemic climbed to 29 in different areas of the government-controlled provinces, including the southern port city of Aden.

So far, the pro-government health authorities have recorded five recoveries.

In addition, health authorities in the Yemeni Houthi rebel-held capital Sanaa has declared earlier a total number of four infections in northern Yemen, including one death.

(XINHUA)

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