Turkey sees signs of slowdown in COVID-19 pandemic

2020-05-22 03:26:25 GMT2020-05-22 11:26:25(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CAIRO, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Turkey saw new signs of slowdown in the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday with 961 new infections reported, while Saudi Arabia continued to lead the region in terms of daily rise of coronavirus infections.

This was the second day that Turkey's daily infections with the novel coronavirus fell below 1,000, after 972 cases were reported on Wednesday.

So far, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkey climbed to 153,548, while the death toll surged to 4,249 after 27 more deaths were added, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

A total of 1,003 patients recovered from the respiratory disease on Thursday, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 114,990.

Turkey's tourism sector said it is looking forward to attracting Chinese tourists back to the country once the COVID-19 pandemic is fully contained.

"China is a huge market, and we are attaching significant importance to the country and Chinese people," Firuz Baglikaya, head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, said at an online press conference in the largest Turkish city of Istanbul.

Baglikaya said China and Turkey will continue to improve their already strong ties even further when everything is back to normal in the post-pandemic era.

Iran on Thursday registered 66 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 7,249, the highest in the region.

The total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iran surged to 129,341 after 2,392 new cases were reported.

Saudi Arabia continued to be the country in the Middle East with the fastest rise in daily COVID-19 cases, with 2,532 new ones reported on Thursday, pushing up the total number to 65,077.

The kingdom also reported 12 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 351. The number of recoveries increased to 36,040 after 2,562 new ones were added.

The Qatari health ministry announced 1,554 new infections of the COVID-19, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 38,651.

At the same time, 688 people recovered from the virus, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 7,288, while the fatalities rose to 17.

Kuwait reported 1,041 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 18,609 and the death toll to 129.

The Kuwaiti health ministry also announced the recovery of 320 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 5,205.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday announced 894 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 26,898.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said 946 more patients fully recovered from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries to 12,755. Four more deaths were recorded, raising the country's death toll to 237.

Egypt set a record daily increase of 774 COVID-19 cases, raising the total infections to 15,003. It was the third consecutive day for Egypt's COVID-19 daily infections to exceed 700.

Meanwhile, 16 patients died from the coronavirus in Egypt in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 696, Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said.

Earlier in the day, Egyptian Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar explained that the actual number of COVID-19 infections in Egypt could be five times that of confirmed infections.

"The actual figure of coronavirus infections in Egypt could be more than 71,000," the minister said in a televised conference.

The Omani health ministry announced on Thursday 327 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 6,370.

In Iraq, 153 new cases of COVID-19 were registered, the highest daily increase so far, bringing the total number of infections to 3,877.

So far, 140 people have died from the virus in Iraq, while 2,483 others have recovered, the Iraqi health ministry said.

Lebanon's total number of COVID-19 infections increased by 63 cases to 1,024, the highest daily increase since the outbreak of the virus on Feb. 21.

The Lebanese cabinet approved on Thursday the extension of general mobilization until June 7 in an attempt to curb the number of daily infections.

The Moroccan health ministry on Thursday announced 78 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 7,211.

The number of the recoveries in Morocco rose by 182 to 4,280, while the death toll increased to 196 after two fatalities were added.

In the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip, 29 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the past three days, raising the total tally to 49 since March 5. All the new cases are Palestinians who recently returned home from Egypt or Israel.

Israel's Health Ministry reported zero coronavirus death case on Thursday for the first time since March 28.

The ministry reported 18 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 16,683.

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