Covid-19 cases cross 1.24 million-mark in Mena

03 August 2020
GCC cases account for 51.4 per cent of all regional infections, with Iran comprising 24.9 per cent

The number of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region crossed 1,243,659 on 3 August, according to Worldometers data collated by MEED.

Countries in the GCC account for 51.4 per cent of all cases in the Mena region, while Iran makes up 24.9 per cent of Mena infections.

The UAE's and Iran's foreign ministers conducted rare talks earlier this week to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and efforts to contain the coronavirus.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reviewed their countries respective efforts “to contain the repercussions” of Covid-19 during a video call to exchange Eid al-Adha greetings.

To date, Iran has reported 309,437 cases of Covid-19, with 268,102 recoveries and 17,190 deaths. The UAE has confirmed 60,999 cases, with 54,615 recoveries and 351 deaths so far.

According to data by the UAE's Central Bank, local banks had withdrawn AED43.6bn of the regulator's AED50bn Targeted Economic Support Scheme stimulus package launched to counter the impact of Covid-19 as of 18 July.

Banks used 95 per cent of these funds (AED41.42bn) to postpone loan payments for sectors most affected by Covid-19.

Economic stimulus measures have also been stepped up in the wider Mena region.

Over the Eid al-Adha weekend, Morocco's King Mohammed VI announced a plan to inject MBD120bn ($12.8bn) in the local economy to support small- and medium-sized businesses.

The package represents 11 per cent of the local economy, and the king said the scheme would "place Morocco at the forefront of the most enterprising countries in terms of post-crisis stimulus packages".

“However, I must say, in all frankness, that the repercussions of this health crisis will be harsh, notwithstanding our efforts to reduce its impacts,” he added, according to local media.

To date, Morocco has confirmed 25,537 cases of Covid-19, with 18,435 recoveries and 382 deaths.

Countries in the wider Mena region, excluding Iran, account for 23.7 per cent of all regional infections.

Covid-19 in the Mena region:

(3 August 2020)

COUNTRYLATEST UPDATES

Saudi Arabia               

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 278,835
  • Recoveries: 240,081
  • Deaths: 2,917

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 28 July: Health Ministry to assign a health leader for every 50 pilgrims of this year's scaled back Hajj. 
  • 21 July: Saudi Arabia's Minister of Hajj & Umrah, Muhammad Saleh Benten, says "unprecedented" arrangements have been made for this year's scaled-back pilgrimage.
  • 17 July: Ministry of Health says it is conducting more than 65,000 tests every day. 
  • 13 July: Individuals entering Mina, Muzdalifah or Arafat without a permit between 19 July and 2 August, including during Hajj, will be fined SR10,000, with the amount to double if the violation is repeated. 
  • 10 July: Riyadh Airports Company launches artificial intelligence- and machine learning-powered project to ensure social distancing is followed at King Khalid International airport.
  • 6 July: Saudi Arabia issues guidelines for Hajj 2020, including the prohibition of all entry into Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat without permits from 19 July. Touching the Holy Kaaba and Black Stone will be prohibited as well, and the mosque’s carpets are to be removed to allow pilgrims to use their personal prayer rugs instead. Registrations have also been opened for expat residents in the kingdom to register as pilgrims, the majority of which (70 per cent) will be non-Saudis this year.
  • 30 June: Ministry of Health calls for caution amid suggestions that Covid-19 pandemic might be reversing during the hot summer weather, urging residents to abide by precautionary measures to curb the spread.
  • 27 June: Health ministry issues precautions to allow the gradual return of workers to offices.

 Measures to minimise the economic crisis:   

  • 1 August: Capacity of ICU beds increased by 31 per cent in Tabuk's hospitals as part of continuing measures to improve healthcare services and Covid-19 preparations in the kingdom.
  • 28 July: ICU bed capacity increased by 41 per cent in Riyadh.
  • 27 July: Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) completes automatic extension of the exit and re-entry visas of expatriates currently outside the kingdom. The extension is valid for three months and was completed at no cost to the visa holder. The kingdom's General Authority of Civil Aviation said last week it had yet to set a date for the resumption of international flights.
  • 23 July: Saudi citizens, their immediate family members and their domestic staff can enter the kingdom by land from Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE without obtaining prior authorisation, marking the reopening of land borders four months after they were closed to curb the spread of Covid-19. 
  • 14 July: Corporate Sustainability Programme launched by the Ministry of Finance to support the deferment of loan installments for the private sector. The initiative includes deferring loan installments due in 2020 for the health and education sectors. Worth SR670m, this deferment covers more than 192 establishments across sectors such as education, health and industry. The initiative also aims to support projects in the education, health and real estate development sectors by accelerating approvals and disbursement of loans and easing requirements.
  • 10 July: Saudi Arabia hosts G20 talks with Paris Forum to discuss post-pandemic global economy.
  • 5 July: Interior ministry confirms three-month extension of exit and return visas issued to foreign residents who were either unable to leave the kingdom or to return from abroad because of the closure of borders, and residence permits of expats outside the country whose validity expired during the lockdown. Final exit visas of foreign residents and the visit visas of foreigners who were unable to leave the kingdom before they expired will also be extended.
  • 2 July: Royal decree issued to extend government initiatives supporting businesses, employees and investors and the private sector. Measures include postponing VAT payments and accelerating reimbursements, and partial exemption from expired residency and iqama fees for an additional month. 
  • 28 June: Saudi-US scientific research team comprising Saudivax and the US' Abound Bio enters licensing agreement to develop Covid-19 treatment, Arab News reports.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
UAE

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 60,999
  • Recoveries: 54,615
  • Deaths: 351

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 23 July: Free Covid-19 testing announced in the emirates of Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. UAE says Covid-19 PCR tests will be mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers, including Emiratis, residents and tourists, arriving via the country's airports, irrespective of the countries they are coming from.
  • 22 July: Capacity of mosques to remain 30 per cent over Eid al-Adha, after which it will increase to 50 per cent. Officials say Eid prayers must be performed at home. Citizens, residents, tourists and transit travellers, regardless of their country of departure, must be tested before entry at the UAE's airports from 1 August.
  • 21 July: Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, instructs federal Ministry of Health & Prevention to conduct free coronavirus tests for both citizens and residents in the emirate. Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge issues guidelines to reopen private schools in the new academic year.
  • 8 July: Ministry of Interior says it has trained sniffer dogs to detect Covid-19, with trials recording a detection accuracy rate of about 92 per cent.
  • 6 July: Government confirms plans to conduct more than two million tests in the next two months. 
  • 28 June: UAE suspends all flights arriving from Pakistan, one of Asia's worst-hit countries for Covid-19. 
  • 27 June: UAE authorities urge public against recklessness in terms of following precautionary measures. 

Measures to minimise the economic crisis:   

  • 30 July: Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship discusses initiatives to restore normalcy and a programme to gradually ease restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.
  • 29 July: Minister of Economy reviews interim committee’s efforts to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on the national economy.
  • 28 July: Dubai South extends incentive package for Business Park and Business Centre clients until the end of the year. The stimulus package offers a 50 per cent reduction each in Business Centre set up and in license fees for new company formation and renewals at the Business Park and Business Centre. Dubai South is also offering flexible payment plans with instalment schemes as well as a waiver of penalties for late renewals and cancellations of contracts and licenses. 
  • 27 July: Government confirms decision to resume the circulation of newspapers, magazines and paper-based marketing materials. These items cannot be distributed in public spaces such as cafés, but may be sent to offices where they may be read and used by one person exclusively. Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, ADQ, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Unilabs say they are manufacturing a chemical solution to extract the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of Covid-19. Their daily production rate will cover 25 per cent of the local sector's demand and help cut imports. Private sector companies in Abu Dhabi may now have 60 per cent of their staff in offices.
  • 26 July: Government offices in the emirate of Ajman to return to full capacity on 3 August. The decision includes the cancellation of exemptions for specific categories of staff from returning to work. It also exempts employees with chronic diseases, provided that they can present a medical report approved by medical authorities, which must be subsequently approved by the emirate’s medical committee. 
  • 23 July: Flag carrier Emirates to offer free medical cover for expenses related to Covid-19. Abu Dhabi starts phase three testing of inactivated Covid-19 vaccine. 
  • 22 July: Visas of UAE residents stranded abroad will expire without exception, and those whose visas expire after 12 July have a month to renew the document before fines begin. 
  • 19 July: Ninety doctors from Al-Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital in Dubai awarded 10-year golden card residency visas in recognition of their efforts to support young patients during Covid-19. General secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board reportedly says the UAE will extend full support to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament if it is hosted in the country instead of India, where case numbers are rapidly growing.
  • 18 July: Dubai Future Council for Transportation reviews post-pandemic strategies. Transportation experts in attendance at the meeting with Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority unanimously rated the preparedness of the global transportation sector during the Covid-19 pandemic at four out of 10.
  • 14 July: Department of Health – Abu Dhabi meets delegation from Sinopharm China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Group 42 (G42) to discuss future plans as part of the first of three stages of clinical trials to find a potential vaccine for Covid-19.
  • 13 July: Third-stage study of a possible vaccine against Covid-19 approved by the Ethics Committee Scientific Research in Abu Dhabi. UAE Covid-19 data platform, created by the Ministry of Health & Prevention, the National Emergency Crisis & Disasters Management Authority and the Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Authority, is launched. Dubai Chamber launches online marketplace for personal protective equipment (PPE). 
  • 12 July: Abu Dhabi Fund for Development suspends debt service repayments during 2020 for eligible countries and businesses. Three startups win contest to join Tecom Group accelerator In5 for a limited period to address the impact of Covid-19 on the region and beyond.
  • 11 July: Dubai approves AED1.5bn ($408.4m) in financial support for hospitality, construction and education sectors, bringing total value of relief packages since the onset of Covid-19 to about AED6.3bn.
  • 10 July: UAE updates visa rules, with residents given three-month grace period to update residency and visa documents. One-month grace period provided for renewal of visas from the date of arrival to the UAE for GCC passport holders and UAE residents who have spent less than six months out of the country.
  • 6 July: Business tenants of Dubai Developments Group properties in the emirate, including small firms and entrepreneurs, will be exempted from paying rents for periods from three to six months following directives issued by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
  • 5 July: UAE government restructured to be more agile in post-pandemic economy. The Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology will be created as part of the UAE government, and the existing ministries for energy and infrastructure will be merged. Three senior ministerial appointments will be made at the Ministry of Economy, and Omar al-Olama, currently the UAE’s minister of state for artificial intelligence, will take on the newly created post of minister of state for digital economy, artificial intelligence & applications for teleworking.
  • 4 July: Abu Dhabi residents allowed to take 48-hour trips outside the emirate. Motorists must get tested in the city before they leave and display these results upon their return. Commuters travelling into Abu Dhabi from other emirates must still be tested before they arrive at the border.
  • 3 July: UAE citizens and residents are now able to travel. Travel will only be permitted if the individual receives a negative Covid-19 result and has international health insurance that is valid throughout the period of travel, and covers the destination they are travelling to.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Bahrain

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 41,536
  • Recoveries: 38,666
  • Deaths: 147

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 28 July: Eid al-Adha prayers in Bahrain are to be performed at home at 5:31am on Friday, the Sunni Endowment Department says. Mosques have been closed in Bahrain as part of preventive measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus through congregations.
  • 19 July: Southern Governorate receives 2,000 medical masks donated by the Bahrain Society for Women Development and the Good Imprint Association.
  • 13 July: Passengers coming to Bahrain must pay BD30 for a Covid-19 test at Bahrain International airport.
  • 5 July: Abdul Hakim Al-Shameri, a member of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce, calls for gradual reopening of King Fahd Causeway to ensure health precautions are followed. The bridge linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is planned to open on 27 July.
  • 26 June: Legislators table bill proposing mandatory distance learning in the new school year.
  • 22 June: Bahrain International airport adopts new security measures that include mandatory face masks and temperature scanning, social distancing measures and limited access to airport areas to ensure biosecurity protocols are being followed.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis:  

  • 1 August: King Fahd Causeway reopens for Bahraini trucks.
  • 29 July: Private employers allowed to hire foreign workers again after work permit issuance was put on hold for four months due to Covid-19. Labour Market Regulatory Authority says it will start accepting requests for new work permits starting from 9 August.
  • 27 July: Cabinet decides to exempt citizen subscribers of electricity and water services in their first household from paying municipal fees for a period of three months starting from July 2020. Ministry of Education directed to take the necessary measures to prepare for the 2020/21 academic year for both public and private schools, with the choice of in-person or remote learning for students left to their parents.
  • 23 July: Gyms, sports halls, outdoor sports fields and swimming pools allowed to reopen from 6 August.
  • 19 July: Nationality, Passports & Residence Affairs agency extends the validity of all valid and expired visit visas for an additional three months – from 21 July until 21 October 2020. Visitors who intend to stay in the country beyond 21 October will be allowed to apply through the eVisa portal to renew their visit visas.
  • 15 July: Bahrain said to be considering blended learning, comprising in-class and online teaching options, as school resumption is targeted for September. Reopening of mosques is delayed until case numbers decline.
  • 14 July: King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa issues Decree-Law 22/2020 to inject BD177.3m into this year’s state budget to deal with emergency expenditures incurred amid Covid-19. Also approved is a memorandum recommending the temporary suspension of the deductions of oil revenues allocated to the Future Generations Reserve Fund until the end of the fiscal year 2020, the withdrawal of $450m as a one-time instance from the fund, and approving the issuance of a decree-law disposing part of the fund. The measures are intended to support the state’s general budget during the remainder of the fiscal year 2020. 
  • 12 July: China National Electric Engineering Corporation revealed to have donated Covid-19 equipment to Bahrain's Electricity & Water Authority and is willing to ramp up support.
  • 11 July: Social Insurance Organisation to pay, from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, a maximum of 50 per cent of the salaries of Bahrainis working in private sector companies most adversely affected by the pandemic, provided that the Bahraini employee is insured as at the end of June 2020, or is employed and insured through the National Employment Programme by the end of the month. Companies eligible for the benefits include operations in sectors that felt business disruption and could not pay wages, retained its Bahraini employees during 2020 and expressed commitment to paying the remaining portion of the salaries of the Bahraini employees in full and without deduction on the date set for salary payments.
  • 6 July: Cabinet approves decision to reduce some fees imposed by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority on all types of work permits for one year, and all monthly fees related to them by 50 per cent for three months, starting from July. 
  • 29 June: Government to pay 50 per cent of salaries for private sector workers most impacted by Covid-19. Payments to start from July, with government also confirming extension of assistance to Bahraini citizens by paying their electricity and water bills.
  • 21 June: National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus is said to be in discussions with Bahrain's Interior Ministry, Bahrain Airport Company and Gulf Air to establish a Covid-19 protocol for Bahrain International airport. 
  • 15 June: Ministerial Committee for Financial & Economic Affairs & Fiscal Balance is to review studies and initiatives submitted by the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Bahraini Businessmen's Association on the sectors that have been affected by Covid-19. The panel is also tasked by the cabinet with studying the impacts of the pandemic on the Bahraini economy, and is to submit its recommendations on the two matters. The cabinet also endorsed, based on a recommendation by the Government Executive Committee, a draft decree on including emergency expenses in the general state budget for 2020. Submitted by the Minister of Finance & National Economy, the bill aims to allocate a budget not exceeding BD177m to deal with the emergency expenses required for mitigating Covid-19's impact and curbing its spread.  
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Kuwait

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 67,911
  • Recoveries: 59,213
  • Deaths: 457

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 1 August: Commercial flights to 31 countries deemed high-risk banned until further notice. The countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Iraq. Egypt Air is also halting flights to the country.
  • 26 July: Free Covid-19 tests to be offered at government hospitals for citizens and expatriates. 
  • 20 July: Cultural and art events by the National Council of Culture, Art and Letters postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19. The organisation is considering a virtual platform to host the Kuwait International Book Fair before the end of November. 
  • 18 June: Public sector employees will not be allowed to return to work from offices following week due to growth in Covid-19 cases. 
  • 18 May: Kuwait makes wearing masks in public mandatory, with jail time threatened for violators.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 28 July: Directorate General of Civil Aviation says airlines operating at Kuwait International airport will start commercial flights to 20 countries on 1 August. The airlines that will start operating are those of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the UK, Turkey, Iran, Nepal, Switzerland, Germany, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and India, DGCA's director of the air transport department, Abdullah al-Rajhi, said.
  • 27 July: The Kuwaiti government is getting ready to reopen its airport for commercial flights on 1 August. Travellers must register their flight details at www.kuwaitmosafer.com to schedule an appointment for their Covid-19 tests, which most countries are asking of their arriving passengers. Kuwait International airport will reopen on 1 August at 30 per cent capacity under the first of a three-phase plan.
  • 23 July: Phase three of Kuwait's reopening to get under way from 28 July. Curfew hours will be shortened to 9pm-3am and worshippers will be able to attend Eid al-Adha prayers at select mosques. 
  • 21 July: Civil aviation authority releases guidelines to ensure the safe resumption of air travel next month, with measures including random testing of passengers, mandatory use of face masks, and maintaining physical distance. Departing travellers are required to provide negative Covid-19 certificates before boarding and the manual checking of tickets will be replaced with digital scanning to avoid physical contact. 
  • 18 July: Public Authority for Industry (PAI) says it is establishing a six-month stock of protective masks. The daily local production of masks is estimated at more than five million, with 522 tons of raw materials currently available at industrial facilities and 133 tons of imported raw materials to increase production capacity. The number of mask manufacturing factories since the outbreak has increased from one to nine.
  • 15 July: Kuwait University to begin new academic year online on 9 August. 
  • 13 July: Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Kuwait Municipality and Public authority for Food and Nutrition to prepare a comprehensive plan to avoid overcrowding during slaughtering and distributing sacrifices around Eid al-Adha. Kuwait Oil Company confirms budgetary cut of 25 per cent and operating expense reduction of 18 per cent for the 2020/21 fiscal year as part of measures to boost "state financial stability". The national oil company also confirmed projects had been cancelled as part of austerity measures. 
  • 8 July: Ministry of Finance approves disbursement of KD240.5m to 70,000 Kuwaitis following a request submitted by the Public Authority for Manpower.
  • 2 July: Kuwait International airport to reopen from 1 August, and will operate at 30 per cent capacity for six months, capping out at 10,000 passengers and 100 daily flights. The country plans to raise capacity to 60 per cent in February 2021 and full capacity in August 2021.
  • 25 June: Second of five-phase plan to restore normalcy by September to begin on 30 June and span three weeks. Curfew hours to be reduced to 8pm–5am. Public and private sectors will resume work with less than 30 per cent capacity, in addition to the resumption of work in the financial and construction sectors, malls and retail shops, parks, and pick-ups from restaurants and cafes. Lockdown of Farwaniya, Jleeb al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula to continue until further notice.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Oman

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 79,159
  • Recoveries: 61,421
  • Deaths: 421

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 21 July: Two-week curfew to be reimposed in the sultanate from 25 July as case numbers continue to grow. Inter-region travel is banned, as are gatherings over the Eid al-Adha holiday. Restrictions cover all types of movements, with public places and shops to remain closed from 7pm-6am, with intensified patrols and points of control in the daytime.
  • 14 July: Supreme committee for Covid-19 decides to continue lockdowns in Dhofar and Masirah. 
  • 5 July: Ministry of Health to conduct country-wide Covid-19 survey covering locals and expats on 12 July. The survey will be carried out in four rounds over 10 five-day weeks, with testing to be conducted randomly. Survey results will be used to determine when movement restrictions can be eased and all activities can resume. Oman hopes the survey will also reveal antibodies that can reveal the prevalence of Covid-19 and its cumulative infection level in the country.
  • 21 June: Labour ministry may fine private sector facilities up to RO500 for violating public health procedures. 
  • 3 June: Tourism ministry issues guidelines for hotels, including instructions such as transparent face masks for receptionists, hand sanitisers for guests and keeping swimming pools and gyms closed until further notice.
  • 18 May: Supreme committee announces ban on all gatherings related to Eid, such as livestock auctions, prayers, greeting gatherings and group celebrations.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 27 July: Ministry of Health said to stop Covid-19 tests at government hospitals so that medical staff can focus on severe cases. Individuals showing symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days or visit private hospitals for tests.
  • 26 July: Minister of Health, Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Saidi, says his ministry is working with the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation to procure 700,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is produced.
  • 23 July: Supreme committee to oversee Covid-19 measures approves travel by air, with flight frequency to be increased gradually. Incoming travellers will have to complete 14 days of isolation. Specific dates have yet to be provided for the resumption of air travel.
  • 20 July: Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries chairs regional UN Food and Agriculture Organisation meeting on ways to address the impacts of Covid-19 on agriculture and food security in the region.
  • 13 July: Public Authority for Water (Diam) approves three-month package to provide financial relief for privately held small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the healthcare, education, travel and tourism, banking and journalism sectors. 
  • 12 July: Public Establishment for Industrial Estate (Madayn) cancels select entry and storage fees at Mazyouna Free Zone. Atomzlab, based in Madayn's National Business Centre, increases production of 3D-printed anti-microbial masks.
  • 5 July: Health ministry urges tougher action on businesses flouting precautionary requirements and will conduct spot checks to ensure compliance.
  • 2 July: Health minister Ahmed bin Mohammad al-Saeedi says "scary" growth in Covid-19 cases has led the sultanate to create plans for raising healthcare capacity, with a temporary hospital for non-urgent cases expected to be established in Muscat.
  • 24 June: More than 50 commercial and industrial activities reopen, including real estate offices, travel agencies, maintenance businesses and dry cleaners.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Qatar

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 111,107
  • Recoveries: 107,779
  • Deaths: 177

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 22 July: Doha says travellers from low-risk countries must undergo a second test and their quarantine period will end if results come back negative. However, if the traveller tests positive, they will be transferred to a government facility for isolation.
  • 15 July: Al-Sadd and Umm-Salal football clubs fined QR30,000 each for failing to meet all precautionary requirements for resumption of 2019/20 season.
  • 18 May: Qatar will close all shops and halt all commercial activities on 19-30 May to curb Covid-19. The closure excludes pharmacies, food supply stores and food deliveries, UAE daily newspaper Gulf News reports.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 2 August: Qatar residents who were stranded abroad following Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown can now apply for returning to the country, Indian daily Matrubhumi reports.
  • 26 July: Third phase of economic resumption begins tomorrow. Gatherings will be limited to 10 people in closed spaces and 30 in open spaces as part of this phase.
  • 22 July: Ministry of Public Health's list of low-risk countries – to be reviewed every two weeks – currently comprises 40 countries including China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, the UK, France, Germany, Greece, Algeria, Turkey, Morocco, Canada and Switzerland, among others.
  • 21 July: Citizens and permanent residency visa holders allowed to travel from and return to Qatar. Residency visa holders may start returning from 1 August, and all arrivals from low-risk countries are required to take a coronavirus test at the airport and sign a formal pledge to adhere to quarantine at home for a week. Low-risk travellers are not required to be tested at the airport if they have results from an accredited test taken within 48 hours prior to their arrival.
  • 16 July: Qatari Ministry of Education & Higher Education has announced that students of both government and private schools can return to classrooms when the new academic year begins on 1 September. School staff will resume work on 19 August, and attendance is mandatory during the new academic year for both staff and students.
  • 1 July: Second phase of economic resumption begins. Commercial activities are allowed to resume in malls and commercial centres, while gaming centres, amusement parks, skateboard arenas, prayer rooms and cinemas will remain closed. Restaurants operating inside malls and commercial centres are allowed to deliver to home addresses, or hand over orders at the restaurant. This decision also prohibits any artistic, cultural or recreational activities at malls and commercial centres.
  • 28 June: Supreme Committee for Crisis Management says restaurants, public beaches and parks to reopen at limited capacity from 1 July. Public and private gatherings of a maximum of five people will be allowed, and employees in the public and private sector can work from offices at 50 per cent capacity.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Iran

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 309,437
  • Recoveries: 268,102
  • Deaths: 17,190

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 25 July: President Hassan Rouhani urges population to observe caution during Eid al-Adha festivities in August.
  • 18 July: Rouhani says more than 25 million Iranians may have contracted the coronavirus and 14,000 may have died due to the illness, based on an “estimated scenario” from a health ministry research report. Restrictions were reimposed for a week in Tehran, including banning religious and cultural functions, closing boarding schools, cafes, indoor pools, amusement parks and zoos. From 19 July, 22 cities and towns in the southwestern Khuzestan province will be under a three-day lockdown, Reuters reported.
  • 15 July: Museums in Tehran closed again for one week as virus numbers rise. Art and cultural centres, universities, schools, seminaries, English schools, libraries, movie theatres, museums, mosques, beauty salons and several other entities have also been shut down amid a sharp rise in the number of new cases and fatalities.  
  • 4 July: Wearing masks is mandated. Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week. Government employees that do not wear masks will be considered absentees. 
  • 28 June: Campaign launched to encourage Iranians, especially the young, to wear masks.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 27 July: Managing director of Iran's Food & Drug Administration says Actemra medicine, based on the tocilizumab drug, is being manufactured by a local company after the US' Food & Drug Administration said it may help recovery in Covid-19 patients. Actemra will not be available in Iranian drugstores and will be reserved for severe in-hospital cases. Permits have yet to be issued for its local use, news agency IRNA reported.
  • 19 July: Iranian health authorities clarify that Rouhani's statement that 25 million Iranians may have Covid-19 was based on serological blood tests that measure exposure to the illness and that cannot be relied on to show the current state of disease, Reuters reports.
  • 15 July: Iran will start producing the antiviral agent remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus patients next week, Health Minister Saeed Namaki says, according to Iran Press news agency.
  • 11 July: President Hassan Rouhani warns Iran cannot afford to shut down all economic activities to curb the spread. "The simplest solution is to close down all activities, [but] the next day, people would come out to protest the [resulting] chaos, hunger, hardship and pressure," he added, according to Arab News.
  • 27 June: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iranian economy will worsen if Covid-19 spreads unchecked, and warns public against negligence to curb the spread.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Egypt

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 94,483
  • Recoveries: 42,455
  • Deaths: 4,865

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 22 July: Government issues new restrictions to co-exist with Covid-19 with effect from 26 July. Beaches and parks to remain closed, with restaurants allowed to operate until midnight at 15 per cent capacity. Cinemas to operate at 25 per cent capacity, and commercial shops and malls to close at 10pm. The gradual return of Friday prayers will be studied, and official conferences or meetings will be allowed provided events are held with 50 participants or fewer in a hall that can accommodate at least 100 individuals.
  • 3 June: Parliament warns against crowding in food markets. 
  • 1 June: Prisons sterilised and prisoners provided polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to curb Covid-19.
  • 31 May: Government to provide 30 million fabric face masks each month, Egypt Today reports.
  • 20 May: New cleaning campaigns launched in North Sinai cities.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 27 July: Head of health ministry's Covid-19 committee, Hossam Hosny, reportedly warns that the second wave of the illness could hit Egypt in November, adding that the country is ready for all scenarios. He added that the ministry now has a large stock of covalescent plasma as well.
  • 20 July: Parliament approves law cutting the net monthly income of all employees in the public and private sectors by 1 per cent to counter the impact of Covid-19. The draft bill excluded employees whose monthly salaries do not exceed £E2,000. Savings are to be deposited into an account at the Central Bank of Egypt and allocated to support economic sectors and small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the global pandemic, as well as to pay financial subsidies to workers in these sectors.
  • 18 July: Minister of Health Hala Zayed says 20 per cent of ventilators had been used in the past week in the country, down from 97 per cent at the peak of the virus. The country has reserved 30 million packets of a potential coronavirus vaccine set to be produced by a UK-based pharmaceutical company. She told Al-Hekaya TV show that the British company plans to produce up to 400 million packets. An Egyptian pharmaceutical company has also submitted a request to produce the vaccine, Zayed added.
  • 13 July: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi calls for completion of National Project for Self-Sufficiency of Plasma Derivatives, aimed at reducing the need for ventilators in Covid-19 patients and boosting recovery times. Health & Population Ministry warns disinfection gates may not be effective in workplaces, following similar advice from the World Health Organisation.
  • 1 July: Egypt starts to reopen as airport resumes activity and other public transport is allowed to resume. 
  • 25 June: Local manufacturer Eva Pharma starts producing antiviral remdesivir as potential Covid-19 treatment drug. The European Medicines Agency has received a recommendation from its human medicines committee urging conditional approval of remdesivir to treat adults and adolescents who are also suffering from pneumonia. Eva Pharma is also producing 1 million tablets of Japan’s Favipiravir drug, said to accelerate recovery and sold under the brand name Avigan, and is set to make them available within July.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Iraq

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 129,151
  • Recoveries: 91,886
  • Deaths: 4,868

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 27 July: Health Ministry official tells local official newspaper Al-Sabaah that implementing a partial ban may continue to be necessary after Eid al-Adha holidays. Full curfew confirmed from 30 July to 9 August.
  • 27 June: Growing case numbers lead to reimposition of curfew in areas including Basra province and Maysan in southern Iraq.
  • 22 June: Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi says country is nearing the peak of infections, adding ministry plans to develop temporary hospitals with a capacity of 400 beds in various provinces as soon as possible.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 16 July: Airports will be allowed to open on 23 July and malls are to reopen soon provided they adhere to social distancing guidelines and health precautions. Lockdown hours will be reduced and be in effect from 9pm-5am, and the total curfew will be revised after the Eid al-Adha holiday. Al-Mundhiriyah, Safwan and Al-Shaib border crossings are to reopen for trade and commercial exchange, Iraq's Higher Committee for Health & Public Safety says. 
  • 13 July: Health ministry said to have provided 300 ventilators to medical institutions.
  • 7 July: Southern Shalamcheh border crossing with Iran partially reopened after three months of closure. The crossing is being opened only for the trade of foodstuffs, allowing in 500 trucks from Iran per week and will open every Wednesday and Sunday, Arab News reports.
  • 28 June: Iraqi medical students called on to volunteer at hospitals amid surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths. 
  • 26 June: UAE send six tonnes of medical supplies to Iraqi Kurdistan. 
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Jordan

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 1,213
  • Recoveries: 1,099
  • Deaths: 11

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 29 July: Electoral candidates cannot provide food or sweets during the upcoming election's campaigns, Independent Election Commission says. Candidates must instead supply hand sanitisers inside the electoral headquarters. General elections are to be held in Jordan this November.
  • 28 July: Truck drivers entering Jordan from Gulf countries via land borders must undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine, Roya News reports.
  • 29 June: Health minister says local transmission of the virus is reducing but warns of second wave if precautionary measures are not adhered to.  
  • 28 June: Repatriation operations for Jordanians overseas have been suspended until due to changes in quarantine and medical examination procedures, and the recent increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Pre-scheduled flights will not be affected by the decision.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 26 July: Airports to resume flights at full capacity from 5 August. 
  • 22 July: Curfew reduced by one hour and will now be in effect from 1am-5am. Working hours for all economic activities have been extended until midnight. 
  • 21 July: List of low-risk countries updated and now includes Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, New Zeeland, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan and Monaco, in addition to those announced on 16 July. Passengers travelling from a red or orange status country must transit through a green status country for a 14-day period before travelling to Jordan, and anyone caught attempting to enter the country without completing 14 days in a green status country or providing invalid test results will face a JD10,000 fine, Roya News reports. Domestic flights will resume this week and the government plans to open international travel from early-August. 
  • 20 July: Employers may reduce the salaries of their employees by 20 per cent instead of the previously approved 30 per cent. Minister of Labour Nidal al-Batayneh reportedly said salary cuts may only be implemented for employees in the worst pandemic-hit sectors. Airports in Jordan will reopen next week, Roya News reports.
  • 16 July: Jordan reveals countries from which travel will be permitted. These include Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Hong Kong and Thailand. Travellers from these destinations will not need to quarantine if they have undergone a Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival. Queen Alia International airport is expected to reopen in the first half of August.
  • 15 July: Schools to reopen on 1 September, with education ministry envisioning three options – regular clases, online learning or in-class learning in shifts – based on country's Covid-19 situation at the time. Airports in the country will remain closed until at least 1 August, and citizens will be allowed to be repatriated from 10 destinations without needing to quarantine upon arrival, Roya News reports. Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission's precuationary measures for when airports reopen include the division of countries into three colour-coded categories that will be reviewed periodically, and based on which pre-flight Covid-19 test requirements will be set out for travellers.
  • 13 July: JD27m to be distributed to families in need of relief due to the financial impact of Covid-19. It marks the third and final payment from the Himat Watan fund established in April to aid Jordanians and facilitate the return of citizens stranded abroad. Decision to lift midnight curfew has yet to be made, local Roya News reports.
  • 11 July: Government confirms plans to reopen schools from 10 August. State Minister for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh says 411 applications had been received from people wishing to visit Jordan for medical tourism from Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
  • 5 July: Prime Minister Omar Razzaz says Jordan will reopen its airports at the end of July and flights will resume to a limited number of countries.
  • 27 June: Amusement parks and play centres in tourist resorts, and special education centres, allowed to reopen from 28 June, provided precautionary measures are adhered to.
  • 21 June: Education ministry considers resuming the next academic year two weeks earlier than planned to make up for lost time.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Lebanon

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 4,885
  • Recoveries: 1,795
  • Deaths: 62

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 27 July: Health Minister Hamad Hassan slams lack of compliance with precautionary measures and confirms the country will reimpose a two-week lockdown from 30 July. Arab News reported he added that the community outbreak of the disease was beginning to take a “dangerous turn” and he regretted “the lack of community discipline and disregard for all preventive measures imposed on people.” Passengers arriving through Beirut International airport must carry a negative Covid-19 test result from their port of departure and will have to stay in quarantine for two days at their own expense in special centers, pending the results of the second PCR test at the airport.
  • 14 July: Fines ranging from £Leb550,000 to £Leb5m said to have been introduced for individuals not wearing masks.
  • 1 July: Cabinet extends Covid-19 measures until mid-August to curb Covid-19 cases.
  • 4 June: Government has extended its "general mobilisation against coronavirus" measures for another four weeks, Arab News reports. The extension is based on recommendations from Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 24 June: Reopened Rafik Hariri International airport to reduce number of flights from countries where the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not available to passengers to 20 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, Arab News reports. Flights from countries that have the test will be at 80 per cent of previous levels. Those arriving from countries with PCR tests must produce the results, which must be less than four days old, during check-in. All passengers must be tested at Beirut airport.
  • 21 June: US State Department to contribute $20m to support 1,800 students at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University. 
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Morocco

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 25,537
  • Recoveries: 18,435
  • Deaths: 382

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 28 July: Restrictions on inter-city travel to last 14 days. “In two weeks, the rise in coronavirus cases was higher than the first four months of the confinement,” Health Minister Khaled Ait Taleb said, according to North Africa Post.
  • 27 July: Travel to and from Tangier, Tetouan, Fez, Meknes, Casablanca, Berrechid, Settat and Marrakesh is banned to curb the spread of Covid-19. Exemptions include people with urgent medical requirements, select workers and the transportation of goods and commodities. 
  • 15 July: Interior ministry temporarily closes 514 factories and businesses across the country for non-compliance with precautionary measures as case clusters emerge in industrial areas.
  • 13 July: Tangier to be locked down and isolated, with all public transport to and from the city to be suspended. Citizens may travel within the city provided they have received authorisation from local entities. Tangier is said to account for 20 per cent of all Covid-19 cases in Morocco.
  • 9 July: Health emergency decree granting power to place parts of the country under lockdown as required is extended until 10 August. 
  • 18 May: Lockdown extended to 10 June as case numbers continue to grow.
  • 19 April: Lockdown extended to 20 May.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 29 July: King Mohammed VI announces plan to inject MBD120bn ($12.8bn) in local economy to support small- and medium-sized businesses and provide incentives. The package represents 11 per cent of Morocco's economy.
  • 23 July: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approves $100m loan to Morocco's Banque Centrale Populaire to support local small businesses affected by the pandemic.
  • 14 July: Government allocates MBD6bn ($623m) for flag carrier Royal Air Maroc.
  • 8 July: Air and sea borders to open for Moroccan citizens living abroad and foreign citizens living in Morocco on 14 July. Passengers will be required to present, before boarding, a PCR test conducted less than 48 hours before the trip, as well as a serological test. Ferry rides will also be scheduled departing from France and Italy, with similar pre-boarding requirements as air travel. 
  • 23 June: Flag carrier RAM to resume domestic flights on 25 June.
  • 21 June: Cafes, restaurants, sports clubs and services and entertainment businesses are allowed to reopen at 50 per cent capacity from 24 June in all provinces except Tangier, Larache, Marrakech and Kenitra. Domestic flights and rail lines to resume but international travel remains closed. 
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Libya

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 3,837
  • Recoveries: 623
  • Deaths: 83

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19: 

  • 19 July: Curfew extended for 15 days until 2 August by government in Tripoli.
  • 7 July: Government extends curfew until 17 July. A 24-hour weekend curfew and the ban on inter-city movement continue to be enforced.
  • 9 June: The Chinese Embassy to Libya has sent a shipment of medical aid to help fight the pandemic.
  • 11 April: UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, says need for immediate end to hostilities in Libya discussed with Stephanie Turco Williams, the deputy head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
  • 30 March: At least 466 prisoners reportedly freed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 9 July: African Development Bank grants $480,000 to Libya under the Special Relief Fund for the procurement of personal protective equipment.
  • 8 July: National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifts force majeure at the Es-Sider oil terminal. Export resumption was blocked after guards prevented a tanker from being loaded.
  • 10 April: Libya receives medical supplies from Turkey’s National Defense Ministry.
  • 5 April: State of emergency continues in Libya as former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril reportedly dies from coronavirus.
  • 14 March: Al-Sarraj government in Tripoli declares state of medical emergency and earmarks LD500m ($357.6m) for anti-coronavirus measures.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Tunisia

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 1,561
  • Recoveries: 1,221
  • Deaths: 51

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 27 July: New measures announced for arrivals from abroad. Members of the same family, coming from countries not classified on its 'green' or 'orange' safety lists, must go through mandatory isolation. Passengers from a country on the 'orange' list travelling without a Covid-19 test result will be in quarantine for at least three days until the Tunisian health ministry completes testing. As of 23 July, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland were part of Tunisia's green list. The orange list of countries according to the the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases covers 44 countries, including Canada, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, Lebanon, Senegal and Cameroon.
  • 29 May: Tunisian President Kais Saied announces extension to the state of emergency in the country by six months starting from 30 May.
  • 19 April: Lockdown extended till 4 May.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 21 July: World Bank says international support package with macro-financial assistance from the EU for Tunisia will total $600-700m this year. The World Bank has approved $175m to support the reform package.
  • 13 July: Tunisia is negotiating delaying its debt repayments with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France and Italy, and plans to arrange a new deal with the Washington-based IMF in four months. Deferral request comes as Tunisian economy braces for budget deficit to widen to 7 per cent of the GDP, Finance Minister Nizar Yaich says.
  • 27 June: Tunisia reopens land, sea and air borders for the first time in more than three months. Some operations restart at Tunis-Carthage airport, with flights to Rome, Geneva and Paris also scheduled to depart.
  • 23 June: Garment industry body Fédération tunisienne du textile et de l'habillement said to plan post-pandemic recovery plan. France to loan Tunisia $396m to deal with crisis caused by Covid-19.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Algeria

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 31,465
  • Recoveries: 21,419
  • Deaths: 1,231

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 26 July: Partial lockdown measures to be implemented for 15 days in 29 provinces to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  These will take effect from 28 July and include a curfew from 8pm-5am, as well as a ban on road traffic from and to the provinces.
  • 9 July: Road movement ban implemented for one week from 10 July in provinces including Boumerdes, Souk Ahras, Tessimsilt, Djelfa, Mascara, Oum El Bouaghi, Batna, Bouira, Relizane, Biskra, Khenchela, Msila, Chlef, Sidi Belabbes, Medea, Blida, Bordj Bou-Arreridj, Tipaza, Ouargla, Bechar, Algiers, Constantine, Oran, Setif, Annaba, Bejaia, Adrar, Laghouat and El Oued. Public transport was also barred over the weekend.
  • 28 June: President Abdelmadjid Tebboune says Algeria to keep the land, air and sea borders closed until the end of the Covid-19 crisis. He added during the cabinet meeting that firmer measures would be taken against citizens that do not respect preventive measures.
  • 28 May: Lockdown extended from 30 May to 13 June to curb Covid-19.
  • 19 May: Algeria extends curfew for Eid al-Fitr holiday. Restrictions will be imposed from 1pm-7am in most provinces and 5pm-7am in other parts, Reuters Africa reports.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 27 July: Tax payments said to be suspended for state and private sector firms impacted by Covid-19. Loans will also be rescheduled for companies hit by losses due to restrictions to curb the pandemic. 
  • 18 July: Committee said to be established to assess the impact of the pandemic on the national economy.
  • 17 July: Algeria is planning a law to protect health workers after an increase in “physical and verbal attacks”, Gulf News reports. 
  • 9 July: State's special insurance to be granted to medical professionals directly involved with Covid-19 treatment.
  • 6 July: Government does not plan to renew nationwide lockdown at the moment but could enforce region-specific closures if cases spike and precautionary measures are not complied with.
  • 22 June: Flag carrier Air Algerie starts revalidation of 600,000 tickets for domestic and international flights cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. 
  • 14 June: Further relaxation of restrictions planned. Government to lift curfew in 19 provinces and shorten it in the remaining 29, including in the capital Algiers, where it will run from 8pm–5am instead of 7pm–7am. Buses and taxis to resume with limitations on passenger numbers, and paid leave provided to 50 per cent of government employees to end.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Yemen

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 1,734
  • Recoveries: 862
  • Deaths: 497

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 4 May: Public areas including government buildings, markets and mosques to be sprayed with disinfectant as local authorities move to curb Covid-19.
  • 11 April: Authorities in the southeast Yemen province of Hadramout move to curb Covid-19 in the port city of Al-Sheher by imposing further measures, where the country’s first case was announced on 10 April. A curfew from 6pm–6am has been imposed in all cities of the province, and Hadramout governor Faraj Salmen al-Bahsani has urged residents to comply with the measures and stay indoors as much as possible.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 2 June: International donors pledge $1.35bn in aid for Yemen. Saudi Arabia's contribution totals $500m, with the UK offering $200m and Germany contributing $140m.
  • 18 May: Yemen’s Health Minister Nasser Ba’aom and Minister of Local Administration Abdul Raqib Fatah appeal for international aid. “We need personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, ventilators, finance for the medical workers who work in the Covid-19 centres,” Dr Ba’aom said, according to UAE newspaper the National. “We also need medical equipment such as a complete biological units, testing kits, field hospitals and beds for the intensive care units (ICUs). Additionally, we still need food aid, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.”
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.
Syria

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 809
  • Recoveries: 256
  • Deaths: 44

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 7 May: Syria postpones parliamentary elections for second time from 20 May to 19 July as preventive measure to curb Covid-19.
  • 2 April: Syrian authorities seal major shrine that Iranian pilgrims are known to visit.
  • 29 March: Ban on commuting between provinces and all other urban and rural areas takes effect.

Financial measures to minimise the economic crisis:

  • 24 June: Syrian health ministry receives new batch of medical aid from China, including testing kits, protective suits, face masks, goggles and infrared thermometers.
  • 25 May: Damascus eases lockdown restrictions to support economic growth, but repatriation flights put on hold as recently returned Syrians are treated.
  • 3 May: President Bashar Al Assad says Syria could face a "real catastrophe" if Covid-19 cases grow.
As of 10.30 GST, 3 August 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during July 2020.

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