WHO says Virus numbers in the Middle East at ‘low level’

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization warned that the Middle East was at a turning point in the fight against the novel coronavirus, with cases surging as countries ease lockdown measures. The 22 countries from Morocco to Pakistan had reported 1,077,706 novel cases of coronavirus and 24,973 deaths, according to figures released by the global health body on Wednesday. The 22 countries from Morocco to Pakistan had reported 1,077,706 novel cases of coronavirus and 24,973 deaths, according to figures released by the global health body on Wednesday.

Official figures have shown a rising trajectory in new confirmed cases since early May, when Iran hit a near two-month low in daily recorded infections. The Islamic republic gradually lifted restrictions from April to try to reopen its sanctions-hit economy. In neighbouring Iraq, authorities have refused to reimpose strict lockdown measures, even as hospitals across the country, battered by years of war, have been swamped in recent weeks.

While the virus had spread relatively slowly for months, on Wednesday the number of recorded cases surpassed 51,000 including more than 2,000 deaths. On Wednesday, authorities reopened the famed Giza pyramids after a three-month closure, a day after resuming international flights as part of efforts to restart the vital tourism industry.