For the first time since the country’s coronavirus outbreak began, Lebanon has not recorded any new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the country’s daily Ministry of Health on Tuesday.
The number of confirmed infections stands at 677, with 21 deaths. The country has imposed a total lockdown since mid-March, allowing citizens to leave their homes only to buy food or medicine. Most businesses have closed, while the overnight curfew bans citizens from leaving their homes between 8 pm and 5 am.
Turkey has surpassed Iran in its number of confirmed coronavirus cases, and now has the highest number of confirmed cases in the Middle East. The country has more than 90,000 infections as of Monday, with the total number of fatalities standing at 2,140, according to official government figures. Experts have warned, however, that the true death toll may be much higher.
Although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has presented his country’s performance in handling the coronavirus as one of the world’s most successful, Turkey has still become the seventh-most affected country worldwide. Erdogan has also maintained strict control over information about the outbreak in Turkey.
Meanwhile in Syria, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) director for the Near and Middle East, Fabrizio Carboni, said millions of displaced Syrians and refugees who have fled to Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan are especially vulnerable. Syria has reported 39 infection and three deaths so far.
Throughout Syria’s conflict, now in its tenth year, the country’s health infrastructure and medical personnel have been “deliberately targeted”, which “weakens the collective response” to the virus, he explained.
“Water projects need to function and pumping stations just can’t stop functioning. Millions of Syrians are totally dependent on food distribution, you can’t stop this,” Carboni added.
Egypt reported 189 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, raising the country’s total number to 3,333 cases and 250 deaths so far.
Meanwhile, Palestine recorded its second coronavirus fatality in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. The fatality was a 57-year-old Palestinian woman, according to local Palestinian media.
While the number of cases in Jerusalem remains unclear, Palestinian authorities said the number of infections in the city stands at over 120, which is often added to the general number in Palestine. This now stands at 449 confirmed cases and four deaths, including 327 cases in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and two fatalities in the West Bank.
Israel, which controls East Jerusalem, reported on Tuesday morning that its death toll from the coronavirus was now 181 people, with 13,883 Israelis having contracted the virus. Of that figure, 142 were in critical condition, with 113 patients on ventilators.