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Roundup: Iran warns of “4th wave” of COVID-19 pandemic; Israel’s total cases hit 779,958

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CAIRO, March 1 (Xinhua) — Iran issued on Monday a warning over a possible “fourth wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic, after the country’s daily death toll rises above 100 for the first since early January. Meanwhile, Israel reported 5,479 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, raising the total tally in the country to 779,958.

“The death of 108 patients of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours is sounding the alarm of the fourth wave of the disease,” Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said at her daily briefing.

The new daily figure takes the death toll of the epidemic to 60,181 in Iran.

Between Sunday and Monday, the ministry reported 8,510 new infections, Lari said, adding 812 of them need to be hospitalized.

The total number of COVID-19 cases registered in Iran stands at 1,639,679, according to the official data.

Moreover, 1,399,934 COVID-19 patients have recovered or been released from Iranian hospitals so far, though 3,727 remain in critical condition, said the spokeswoman.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in February 2020, a total of 10,912,409 laboratory tests for the coronavirus have been carried out in the country, the Iranian official said.

Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 5,479 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, raising the tally in the country to 779,958.

The death toll from the COVID-19 in Israel reached 5,760 after 22 new fatalities were added, while the number of patients in serious condition decreased from 776 to 737, out of 1,238 hospitalized patients.

The total recoveries in Israel rose to 735,850, with 7,217 newly recovered cases, while the active cases decreased to 38,348.

The number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Israel has surpassed 4.74 million, or 51 percent of its total population, since the vaccination campaign began on Dec. 20, 2020.

The country’s COVID-19 reproduction number, also known as the R number, rose to 1, higher than 0.79 about a week ago.

The R number is an indicator used to determine how fast COVID-19 is spreading, as an R number greater than 1 means that the number of patients increases at an exponential rate and multiplies from time to time.

Also on Monday, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported 3,599 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 699,088.

It also reported 22 new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,428, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 3,708 to 639,639.

A total of 6,881,821 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 35,578 done during the day.

The ministry also announced the launch of an electronic platform to distribute vaccines to citizens across the country, including the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Citizens can enter the platform through their national cards to choose the type of vaccine they want, al-Tamimi said, adding that the vaccine would be free of charge.

He also said the ministry has allocated 605 health centers to distribute vaccines throughout Iraq.

Iraq said it will receive a shipment of China’s Sinopharm vaccines on Monday evening.

Iraq has taken a series of measures to curb the recent rise in infections after the Ministry of Health announced on Feb. 15 the detection of a new strain of coronavirus characterized by faster transmission and a higher level of severity.

The Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs has approved the emergency use of China’s Sinopharm and Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccines to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Lebanon registered on Monday 1,888 new COVID-19 cases, raising the number of infections in the country to 376,921, the Health Ministry said, adding the death toll from the virus went up by 51 to 4,743.

Lebanon received on Monday 50 oxygen concentrators and four high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy devices from Spain to help the country fight COVID-19.

Lebanon has been fighting against COVID-19 since Feb. 21, 2020.

The country has received about 100,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and more doses are expected to arrive in two weeks.

Morocco announced on Monday 112 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally in the North African country to 483,766.

The total number of recoveries from COVID-19 in Morocco increased to 469,345 after 299 more were added.

The death toll rose to 8,637 with 14 new fatalities during the last 24 hours, while 394 people are in intensive care units.

A total of 3,568,670 people have been vaccinated so far against COVID-19 in the country.

Morocco launched a nationwide vaccination campaign on Jan. 28 after the arrival of the first shipment of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines.

Kuwait reported on Monday 1,179 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 192,031.

The Kuwaiti Health Ministry also announced two more deaths, taking the death toll to 1,085. The tally of recoveries in Kuwait rose by 946 to 180,155, while 10,791 coronavirus-related patients were receiving treatment.

On Feb. 21, Kuwait started the extension of a ban on entry of non-Kuwaiti travellers to the country until further notice.

The Kuwaiti government has also decided to close land and sea borders from Feb. 24 until March 20 with the exception of shipping operations.

The Qatari health ministry on Monday announced 473 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 164,137. While 440 more people recovered from the virus, bringing the overall recoveries to 154,061, the fatalities increased by one to 259.

A total of 1,544,331 persons in Qatar have taken lab tests for COVID-19 so far.

The Omani health ministry on Monday announced 312 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 141,808.

The kingdom also reported deaths in the day, pushing the death toll up to 1,577, according to a ministry statement quoted by ONA.

The ministry urged everyone to adhere to social distancing instructions issued by the Supreme Committee entrusted with handling the novel coronavirus. Enditem

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