Covid-19 regional tracker (23 November 2020)

23 November 2020
As the number of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa region crosses 3.3 million, governments race to secure vaccines

The number of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region crossed 3,377,594 on 23 November, according to Worldometers data collated by MEED.

Countries in the GCC account for 29.6 per cent (999,319) of the 3.4 million infections, while Iran alone comprises 25.3 per cent (854,361) of all regional cases.

Countries in the wider Mena region, such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and Syria, together make up 45.1 per cent (1,523,914) of the total number of infections.

Jordan accounts for 12 per cent of the cases in these 10 countries, and has confirmed 183,429 cases to date, with 114,018 recoveries and 2,236 deaths.

On 22 November, the Central Bank of Jordan extended its March 2020 decision to defer installments due from businesses and individuals until June 2021.

The moratorium extension comes with the aim of alleviating the virus-related impacts and granting pandemic-hit businesses and individuals sufficient time to pay back their installments to banks.

The central bank said lenders must defer installments on the pandemic-hit companies, provided they do not charge deferred interest on these businesses.

The decision also covers customers debts that fulfil restructuring criteria, and includes the postponement of installments for retail customers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including credit card payments and housing and personal loans.

As part of the moratarium, banks have deferred installments and restructured facilities worth JD800m for individuals and more than JD3bn for businesses since the start of the pandemic.

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