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9th April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
War-torn Yemen is one of the few countries in the world where no Covid-19 cases have yet been reported, but it's widely expected that if the virus does take hold there the result will be catastrophic. Yesterday, at the behest of the UN's special envoy, the Saudi-led coalition which has been… Read more
8th April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
The Saudi government warned yesterday that Covid-19 infections in the kingdom could rise to 200,000 over the next few weeks – more than 70 times the current official figure – and appealed for more cooperation from the public. Restrictions on movement and social contact in Saudi Arabia are not… Read more
7th April 2020
At least three countries in the Middle East are resorting to technology based around mobile phones in their efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus. The three – Bahrain, Israel and the UAE – are using it in different ways but the underlying principle is the same in each of them. Mobile phones can… Read more
6th April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
Residents of the UAE must cover their mouth and nose and wear gloves at all times when outside their home, the government announced at the weekend. But that's the easiest part. Before you can go out, you also have to get permission from the police. The first step before a trip outdoors is to… Read more
5th April 2020
Egypt's health minister, Hala Zayed, arrived in Italy yesterday for a "solidarity" visit, together two military planes bringing medical aid from Egypt. Her trip was reportedly ordered by President Sisi who on Saturday posted a tweet offering to provide "all possible support" to "the governments and… Read more
4th April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
In a sudden reversal of policy, Israel's health ministry has announced a cutback in coronavirus testing. The World Health Organisation regards testing as an essential component in the battle against COVID-19 and Israel had been planning to increase testing levels to 10,000 a day by early next week… Read more
3rd April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
In the Middle East and North Africa region, Algeria now has the highest death toll linked to coronavirus outside Iran. So far, 83 people have died in Algeria and the 25 deaths reported yesterday accounted for almost half of those in Arab countries. A major factor behind Algeria's high death rate… Read more
2nd April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
The Egyptian authorities have been taking exception to suggestions that there are far more coronavirus cases in the country than official figures reveal. Last week, the Guardian's correspondent in Cairo was forced to leave after writing about a scientific study which said the real numbers probably… Read more
1st April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
Egypt's efforts to control the spread of coronavirus are "good and reassuring", President Sisi claimed yesterday as the authorities reported 54 new cases and five more deaths. "In light of my following-up around the clock on all efforts and measures taken to confront the spread of coronavirus, I… Read more
31st March 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
During the last 24 hours, a further 145 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the Middle East and North Africa. Of these, 117 were in Iran and 28 in the rest of the region. Although the daily toll in Iran remains high, the trend is downwards and the latest figure is the lowest for more… Read more