Coronavirus death toll tops 50,000 in Middle East

The numbers may still be an undercount, as testing in war-torn nations such as Libya and Yemen remains extremely limited.

A man wearing a face mask in Jerusalem
A man wearing a face mask in Jerusalem

The confirmed death toll from coronavirus has risen above 50,000 in the Middle East as the pandemic continues.

The figure is according to a count from the Associated Press, based on official numbers offered by health authorities across the region.

The numbers may still be an undercount, as testing in war-torn nations such as Libya and Yemen remains extremely limited.

The top UN official for Libya on Wednesday warned the pandemic in the war-ravaged country appears to be “spiralling out of control”.

A girl wearing a face mask  in Iran
A girl wearing a face mask in Iran (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who hold parts of the nation, have refused to release virus statistics.

The hardest-hit nation remains Iran, which saw the region’s first major outbreak.

More than 21,900 people have died there from the virus, with over 380,000 confirmed cases and 328,000 recoveries.

Israel just recorded a record-high 3,000 new cases in a day as the country’s coronavirus tsar is set to submit a list of more detailed recommended restrictions where infection rates have been highest.

The country earned praise for its early handling of the virus crisis and imposing tight movement restrictions, but since reopening the economy in May, new cases have spiked to record levels and the government has been blamed for mismanaging the resurgence.

Pakistan’s numbers have continued to decline – confounding expectations in mid-June, when even the authorities were anticipating a massive increase in cases.

A woman opens a shop in Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain
A woman opens a shop in Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain (Bernat Armangue/AP)

In Afghanistan, the government has also opened up its recreational facilities and most businesses, but experts fear the real numbers are likely to be far higher than officially reported.

The United Arab Emirates, which has embarked on a mass testing campaign, saw its highest daily confirmed new case count in more than three months.

That came as schools have reopened in the country and Dubai has offered itself as a tourist destination.

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