Covid-19 cases top 465,000 in Mena

04 June 2020
President Rouhani warns of tightened restrictions as fears of second wave hit Iran

The number of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region crossed 464,384 on 4 June, according to Worldometers data collated by MEED.

 

The GCC has 245,412 confirmed cases of Covid-19, accounting for 52.8 per cent of all infections in the Mena region.

Regional epicentre Iran has confirmed 160,696 Covid-19 cases to date, with 125,206 recoveries and 8,012 deaths.

President Hassan Rouhani said on 3 June that restrictions would be reintroduced if illness peaks again in Iran. 

His announcement comes amid fears that a second wave has hit Iran.

The country recorded its second-highest surge in coronavirus cases since the start of the outbreak after 3,117 people tested positive for the virus in 24 hours earlier this week.

Government employees went back to work and mosques resumed daily prayers on 30 May as part of the relaxation of Iran’s lockdown.

Covid-19 in the Mena region:

(4 June 2020)

COUNTRYLATEST UPDATES

Saudi Arabia               

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 91,182
  • Recoveries: 68,159
  • Deaths: 579

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 2 June: Precautionary measures and guidelines introduced for more sectors, including factories, mining, internal aviation, intercity buses, car rental vehicles, ferries at Jizan and Farasan Islands, tourist accommodation facilities, postal and logistics services and farms.
  • 31 May: Interior ministry revises regulations on gatherings and penalties. Preventive protocols introduced for mosques, offices, oil and gas facilities, construction sites and offices and restaurants, among other sectors.
  • 30 May: Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions if the number of Covid-19 patients exceeds the medical sector’s capacity, Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah told Al-Arabiya. “Public awareness and adherence to precautionary measures is essential to continue the ease of restrictions," he added.

 Measures to minimise the economic crisis:   

  • 2 June: Mobile laboratory to conduct Covid-19 tests launched in Medina. It has a daily capacity of 10,000 tests and is manned by 84 medical professionals.
  • 1 June: Al-Ula tourism site to reopen in October. Saudi Shoura Council approves draft system for the Tourism Development Fund. 
  • 31 May: Business activity and domestic flights resume, and 90,000 mosques reopen with precautions in all provinces except Makkah.
  • 26 May: Saudi Arabia starts to lift restrictions, with three-phased programme to bring the nationwide curfew to an end on 21 June, except in Mecca. Mosques authorised to reopen with restrictions, but Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages remain suspended.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
UAE

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 36,359
  • Recoveries: 19,153
  • Deaths: 270

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 31 May: Movement prevented to and from Abu Dhabi as well as transit within its regions for one week from 2 June. Dubai introduces new guidelines for mask usage outdoors.
  • 30 May: National Disinfection Programme timings amended to 10pm-6am in all emirates except Dubai. 
  • 20 May: Disinfection to begin two hours earlier in industrial areas. 

Measures to minimise the economic crisis:   

  • 3 June: Transit flights will be resumed at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah international airports and be operated by local carriers Etihad, Emirates, Flydubai and Air Arabia. Passenger flights remain suspended until further notice.
  • 2 June: Shopping malls and private businesses permitted to operate at full capacity from today.
  • 1 June: Ras Al-Khaimah outlines requirements to reopen restaurants, cafés and gyms from 3 June. 
  • 31 May: Abu Dhabi raises mall capacity and the capicity of restaurants within malls to 40 per cent. Hotel beaches, restaurants outside malls and museums also allowed to reopen with a capacity of 40 per cent, but public beaches remain closed.
  • 30 May: More business activities resume in Sharjah and Ajman and Dubai Culture reveals plan to reopen museums on 1 June. 
  • 28 May: UAE Government announces 30 per cent of federal ministry employees will work from offices starting 31 May, with exemptions to be made for high-risk individuals.
  • 27 May: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, says 50 per cent of Dubai Government employees to return to work from 31 May, with all Dubai government employees to return from 14 June.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Bahrain

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 12,815
  • Recoveries: 7,410
  • Deaths: 20

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 3 June: Plans to resume Friday prayers this week postponed.
  • 1 June: Edamah temporarily closes Bilaj Aljazayer beach after non-compliance noted during Eid al-Fitr holidays.
  • 1 June: Health measures for outdoor training activities issued for registered professional athletes. The club or federation must prepare a timetable for pre-booked training sessions and no walk-ins will be allowed. Face masks are mandatory and social distancing is to be followed.
  • 19 May: Lower Criminal Court fines owner of a commercial outlet BD1,000 for flouting health regulations that include measuring the temperature of customers and workers before entering the outlet, directing customers to stand 1 metre apart, cleaning and sterilising trolleys before and after use and ensuring workers wear protective gloves. The court has also fined four defendants BD1,000 each for beaching the home quarantine rules imposed on them. 

Measures to minimise the economic crisis:  

  • 31 May: Flag carrier Gulf Air resumes flights to Pakistan.
  • 28 May: Shura Council reportedly plans to revisit existing legislation and modify it as necessary amid Covid-19.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Kuwait

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 29,359
  • Recoveries: 15,750
  • Deaths: 230

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 18 May: Kuwait makes wearing masks in public mandatory, with jail time threatened for violators.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 2 June: Expatriates' residency permits and visas due to expire in June extended for three months.
  • 1 June: Parliament to reconvene on 16 June and discuss the government's response to Covid-19 as its first priority. The parliamentary term will be extended to compensate for the suspension of sessions because of the outbreak.
  • 31 May: Twelve-hour partial curfew from 6pm to 6am starts today as part of a five-phase plan to gradually return to normal life, and mosques will reopen. Al-Farwaniya, Khaitan, Holi, Jleeb Al Shuyoukh and Mahboula will remain under lockdown.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Oman

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 13,537
  • Recoveries: 2,845
  • Deaths: 67

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 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: 

  • 30 May: Fifty per cent of Muscat employees permitted to return to offices, but Muttrah wilayat remains in isolation.
  • 18 May: Muscat Municipality permits flower shops, boutiques and shops for women's clothing, shops selling beauty products, utensil shops and communication service halls to reopen, provided they adhere to social distancing and apply precautionary measures and safety requirements. Consulting, law and auditing offices; shops selling construction materials; brick factories; carpentry workshops; blacksmiths; and aluminium companies are also allowed to reopen.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Qatar

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 62,160
  • Recoveries: 37,542
  • Deaths: 45

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 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: 

  • 14 May: Face masks are reportedly mandatory for anyone going outdoors from 17 May.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Iran

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 160,696
  • Recoveries: 125,206
  • Deaths: 8,012

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 3 June: President Hassan Rouhani says restrictions will be reintroduced if illness peaks again in Iran. Government employees went back to work and mosques resumed daily prayers on 30 May as part of the relaxation of Iran's lockdown.
  • 2 June: Namaki says people becoming "completely careless" is causing case numbers to grow in Iran again, adding: "They either have total confidence in us or think the coronavirus has gone. The latter is not true at all."
  • 1 June: Health minister Saeed Namaki says Iran must prepare for a second wave of the illness if people do not follow social distancing and other precautionary measures.
  • 10 May: Abadan county placed under lockdown after case numbers sharply grow as people flout social distancing rules.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 30 May: Government employees resume work and shopping malls permitted to stay open past 6pm. Mosques to reopen for daily prayers.
  • 26 May: Plans reported to reopen major shrines across the country, as well as 'high-risk' businesses such as restaurants, cafes and wedding halls in Tehran.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Egypt

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 28,615
  • Recoveries: 7,350
  • Deaths: 1,088

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 3 June: Parliament warns against crowding in food markets. 
  • 1 June: Prisons sterilised and prisoners provided 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: 

  • 1 June: Cairo to discuss resumption of flights and establishment of maximum price limit for Covid-19 treatment, Egypt Today reports citing cabinet spokesman Nader Saad.
  • 21 May: Cabinet approves 1 per cent cut in state workers' salaries to curb spending amid Covid-19. Some hotels open in Hurghada for domestic tourists.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Iraq

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 8,168
  • Recoveries: 4,095
  • Deaths: 256

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 1 June: World Health Organisation says extension of lockdown is necessary in Iraq.
  • 30 May: Government imposes full curfew in Baghdad and Iraqi provinces for a week starting from 31 May.
  • 18 May: Kurdistan 24 reports two-week curfew from 20 May in Baghdad's Sadr, Kadhimiya, 9 Nissan and Mansour districts.
  • 11 May: Curfew extended to run from 5pm to 5am daily, and full lockdown planned for Eid al-Fitr.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 3 June: Legislature hears first draft of law allowing finance minister Ali Allawi to borrow “from international financial institutions and foreign banks to finance public expenditures”.
  • 30 April: Iraq is seeking additional financial assistance from the US, according to Bloomberg.
  • 26 April: Washington grants Iraq a 30-day extension to a waiver allowing the country to import Iranian gas for its dilapidated power grids despite American sanctions.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Jordan

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 757
  • Recoveries: 561
  • Deaths: 9

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 3 June: Comprehensive curfew announced for 5 June, with worshippers allowed to walk to mosques for Friday prayers.
  • 2 June: Reopening date yet to be set for airports in Jordan, chairman of commissioners' board at Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission, Haitham Mesto, tells Roya News. Airports will reopen gradually after it has been ascertained that it is safe to do so.
  • 20 May: Full curfew announced from Thursday midnight to Sunday midnight. Lockdown restrictions also eased, allowing citizens to move using their vehicles until 11 pm on 20 and 21 May, with odd and even licence plate numbers to move on different days.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 31 May: Employers impacted by shutdown allowed to slash May and June payroll by 30 per cent as long as employees are in agreement and the reduction does not push the employee wage beyond the statuary minimum pay. Reductions must start with the senior management team. 
  • 30 May: Mosques and religious sites gradually planned to reopen this week after public-sector employees returned to work last week.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Lebanon

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 1,256
  • Recoveries: 724
  • Deaths: 27

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 31 May: Full lockdown imposed in the village of Majdal Anjar in Bekaa, east Lebanon, for five days.
  • 19 May: Prime Minister Hassan Diab reportedly says lockdown will be imposed again with unprecedented measures if citizens do not adhere to social distancing rules.

Measures to minimise the economic crisis: 

  • 1 June: Lebanon may resume flights on 21 June if two-week decline in cases is observed.
  • 22 May: 'State of general mobilisation' extended until 7 June. The Daily Star reports Beirut plans to systematically reopen the country, but concerns of a second wave persist.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Morocco

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 7,922
  • Recoveries: 6,866
  • Deaths: 206

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 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: 

  • 3 June: Post-lockdown measures to be discussed during monthly parliamentary meeting on 11 June, North Africa Post reports.
  • 1 June: Commerce ministry issues safety guidelines as businesses plan to reopen after lockdown ends on 10 June.
  • 20 May: Arab Monetary Fund extends $127m loan to help Morocco combat Covid-19.
  • 11 May: Central Bank asks local banks to withhold dividends this year to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Libya

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 196
  • Recoveries: 52
  • Deaths: 5

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19: 

  • 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: 

  • 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 allots LD500m for anti-coronavirus measures.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Tunisia

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 1,087
  • Recoveries: 965
  • Deaths: 49

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 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: 

  • 3 June: Work to resume at 100 per cent capacity in public administration offices from 4 June, and mosques, places of worship, hotels and restaurants to reopen as well. Party halls to reopen with enclosed halls to operate at 50 per cent capacity and open areas at full capacity with adequate hygiene measures.
  • 3 June: Arab Monetary Fund grants $59m loan facility to Tunisia. A second loan is also being considered to support reforms in the financial and banking sector. 
  • 1 June: Land, sea and air borders to reopen on 27 June as Tunisia seeks to prop up economy through tourism revenues.
  • 21 May: Mosques, restaurants and cafés to reopen from 4 June, with universities suspended till at least 8 June, Andalou Agency reports.
  • 20 May: EU council approves $657.3m loan for Tunisia.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Algeria

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 9,733
  • Recoveries: 6,218
  • Deaths: 673

Actions to slow the spread of Covid-19:

  • 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: 

  • 11 May: Algiers laboratory, in partnership with Canadian and Jordanian companies, starts production of Covid-19 testing kits with a detection time of 15 minutes and a production capacity of 200,000 units per week.
  • 9 May: Government approves hike of 2-7 per cent in retirement pensions despite financial challenges facing the country.
As of 10.30 GST, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Yemen

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 419
  • Recoveries: 17
  • Deaths: 95

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 to 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 the National. “We also need medical equipment such as a complete biological unit, 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, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.
Syria

Covid-19 pandemic latest:

  • Total confirmed cases: 123
  • Recoveries: 53
  • Deaths: 6

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:

  • 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, 4 June 2020. Click here for Covid-19 updates in Mena during May 2020.

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