Kuwait, Bahrain and Iraq confirm first cases of coronavirus
10 Middle Eastern countries infected
Published : Monday, 24 February, 2020 at 8:41 PM Count : 473
Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Iraq and Oman on Monday reported their first infections from the coronavirus, which has killed more than 2,600 globally, the vast majority in China.
Kuwait reported three cases, Bahrain and Iraq each confirmed one and Oman reported two cases bringing the number of countries in the Middle East with the virus, known as COVID-19, to ten.
Meanwhile, Turkey, Pakistan and Armenia have closed their borders with Iran, as authorities reported 43 coronavirus infections and 12 deaths.
China had 150 new confirmed deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, the National Health Commission announced, pushing the death toll nationwide to 2,592 among 77,150 confirmed cases, while South Korea's cases continued to balloon, reaching 833 with seven confirmed deaths.
And in Italy, at least 152 cases and six deaths have been reported in the country's north, prompting emergency measures in Europe.
Oman reports two cases of coronavirus
Oman reported its first two cases of coronavirus who had visited Iran, according to Oman TV.
The Ministry of Health confirms that the two infected citizens are in a stable condition and subject to quarantine at home.
According to state TV, Oman has halted flights to Iran.
Iran denies virus coverup after claim of 50 deaths
Iran's government vowed to be transparent after being accused of covering up the deadliest coronavirus outbreak outside China, dismissing a lawmaker's claim the toll could be as high as 50.
The government announced Iran's coronavirus death toll had jumped by four to 12 - by far the highest outside China.
But Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani, a lawmaker from the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran, alleged the government was "lying".
"As of last night, about 50 people have died" from the coronavirus in Qom alone, ILNA news agency, which is close to reformists, quoted him as saying after a closed session of parliament on the crisis.
The government rejected the claim.
China says more than 3,000 medical staff infected
More than 3,000 medical staff in China have been infected by the new coronavirus that emerged in the country late last year, an official at China's National Health Commission has said.
Liang Wannian told reporters during a joint press briefing with the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) delegation to China, Bruce Aylward, the infections have mostly occurred in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak that has killed nearly 2,600 to date in the mainland. The infections were likely due to the lack of protective gear and fatigue, he said