Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic

Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic
Bosnian airport workers unload cargo from a Boeing 747-400 airplane owned by the United Arab Emirates government after it landed at Sarajevo International Airport, on May 27, 2020, carrying a donation of 20 tons of medical equipment and protective gear, donated to Bosnia and Herzegovina by the UAE's prime minister to aid in fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (File/AFP)
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Updated 14 June 2020

Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic

Arab countries in global brotherhood amid coronavirus pandemic
  • Saudi Arabia has sent medical supplies to Syrian refugees in Jordan
  • The UAE has dispatched 9 metric tons of medical aid and 10,000 testing kits to Costa Rica

DUBAI: Arab countries are lending a helping hand as far as the Caribbean to help countries deal with coronavirus outbreaks through the timely delivery of medical aid.

Saudi Arabia has sent medical supplies to Syrian refugees in Jordan to help them prevent further spread of the easily transmitted virus, state news agency SPA reported. A week earlier, clinics received over 6,437 patients who were assisted with the necessary medications provided by the Kingdom.

The UAE, meanwhile, has dispatched 9 metric tons of medical aid and 10,000 testing kits to Costa Rica to help the country in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, state news agency WAM reported. The aid is said to assist about 9,000 medical professionals.

Saturday, June 13, 2020 (All times in GMT)

20:00 - France reported on Saturday 24 new coronavirus deaths over the previous 24 hours, taking the total to 29,398 and marking the fourth day with under 30 fatalities.

The government also reported the number of people in hospital fell by 215 to 10,909 and those in intensive care units fell by eight to 871, with both tallies continuing weeks-long downtrends.

19:40 - Egypt announced 1,677 new cases of COVID-19 and 62 more deaths from the disease on Saturday. 

18:00 - The number of new coronavirus cases in Turkey rose to 1,459 in the last 24 hours from 1,195 a day earlier, Health Ministry data showed on Saturday, increasing after travel restrictions were lifted and facilities reopened at the start of the month.

The daily number of cases had previously been below 1,000 since late May. In the last 24 hours, 14 people died, bringing total fatalities to 4,792, the ministry data showed.

There have been a total 176,677 cases of COVID-19 in Turkey.

17:15 - The French praised the altruism of their prized textile and luxury goods companies when production facilities got diverted from churning out the latest fashions to making cloth masks designed to protect the general public from the coronavirus.

Now, the companies that helped France avoid a feared shortage of virus-filtering face wear for everyday use say they need help unloading a surplus of 20 million masks. They asked the French government for assistance promoting and finding buyers for the unsold output of the industry's national effort.

15:30 - Pakistan’s well-loved former cricket captain and legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a tweet on Saturday.

13:30 - Madrid's cinemas have reoped, as Mouna ElHaimoud in the Spanish capital for Arab News discovered...

12:30 - Saudi Arabia announced 39 more deaths from the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 3,366 new cases of the disease on Saturday.

11:52 - The UAE has confirmed 491 new coronavirus cases, 815 recoveries, bringing the total number of infected cases to 41,990 with 26,761 recoveries.

10:40India has reported another record daily spike in coronavirus infections as the country passes the grim milestone of 300,000 cases.




India’s coronavirus caseload jumped by about 100,000 cases in a week, which coincided with the reopening of shopping malls, houses of worship and restaurants. (AFP)

10:32 – Qatar has confirmed 1,828 new coronavirus cases, raising total to 78,416.

09:54 – Iran has recorded 71 coronavirus deaths and 2,410 new cases.

09:24 – Malaysia has reported 43 new coronavirus cases, 8,445 in total with one death.

09:00 – Oman has reported 1,006 new coronavirus cases, raising total to 22,077.

08:13 – A total of 834 people recovered from coronavirus in Kuwait, raising total recoveries to 25,882. The country has also recorded four coronavirus deaths and 514 new cases, raising total infections to 35,466 with 289 fatalities.

08:05 – Afghanistan has recorded five coronavirus fatalities and 556 new cases.

08:03 – Sudan has confirmed 149 new coronavirus cases, raisingthe total number of infections to 6,879.

08:02 – France said it will reopen its borders starting July 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

08:02 – Russia reported 8,706 new coronavirus cases, bringing its cumulative infection tally to 520,129.
The authorities said 114 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, raising the official national death toll to 6,829.

06:55 – Iraq’s Kurdistan has registered 112 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 2,005.

06:24 – Humanitarian workers and medical personnel believe the coronavirus is spreading unchecked and untracked through Sudan’s most marginalized territory. READ MORE

05:00 – The top US infectious disease official cautioned that the “blips” of rising coronavirus hospitalizations being reported by some states could get out of control if robust contact tracing regimes are not put in place. FOR THE STORY

04:39 Australia’s largest state of New South Wales reported its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case since late May, a sign the threat from the pandemic is far from over as social distancing restrictions continue to be eased.

04:30 – China has mobilized its army and fast-tracked tests in the global race to find a coronavirus vaccine, but its labs also have an image tarnished by past health scandals to overcome. Six months after the first cases emerged in the city of Wuhan, China has moved quickly to develop a vaccine and is involved in several of the dozen or so international clinical trials currently under way.

04:22Brazil claimed the unenviable position of having the second-highest coronavirus death toll worldwide behind the United States, where several states have posted record daily case totals, signaling the crisis is far from over.

03:08 – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 348 to 186,022, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed. The reported death toll rose by 18 to 8,781 the tally showed.


Egypt to test visitors from countries with COVID-19 variants on arrival

Egypt to test visitors from countries with COVID-19 variants on arrival
Updated 08 May 2021

Egypt to test visitors from countries with COVID-19 variants on arrival

Egypt to test visitors from countries with COVID-19 variants on arrival

CAIRO: Egypt will require all visitors arriving from “countries where variants of the virus have appeared” to take a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival, its health ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement did not specify the countries from which passengers would take the 15-minute DNA test, called ID NOW.
Egypt’s new coronavirus cases have been steadily rising in recent weeks. On Saturday it reported 1,125 new cases and 65 deaths, although experts say that reflects only a fraction of total cases.
In a statement on Saturday, Egypt’s tourism ministry clarified that restaurants and coffee shops attached to hotels were exempt from a recent decree that such outlets as well as malls and stores would close at 9 p.m. local time (GMT +2) in order to not affect tourism.


Medics: 200 Palestinians hurt in Al-Aqsa clashes with police

Medics: 200 Palestinians hurt in Al-Aqsa clashes with police
Updated 08 May 2021

Medics: 200 Palestinians hurt in Al-Aqsa clashes with police

Medics: 200 Palestinians hurt in Al-Aqsa clashes with police
  • Clashes erupted when Israeli police deployed heavily as Muslims were performing evening prayers at Al-Aqsa

JERUSALEM: A night of heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and elsewhere in Jerusalem left more than 200 Palestinians wounded, medics said Saturday, as the city braced for even more violence after weeks of unrest.
Nightly protests broke out at the start of the holy month of Ramadan over police restrictions at a popular gathering place and have reignited in recent days over threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in east Jerusalem, which is claimed by both sides in the decades-old conflict.
It was unclear what set off the violence at Al-Aqsa, which erupted when Israeli police in riot gear deployed in large numbers as thousands of Muslim worshippers were holding evening prayers at the sprawling hilltop esplanade.
Throughout the night large groups of protesters could be seen hurling rocks as Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades. At one point, the police entered one of the buildings in the complex, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the iconic golden Dome of the Rock.
The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 88 of the wounded were hospitalized. The Palestinian Health Ministry said 83 people were wounded by rubber-coated bullets, including three who were shot in the eye, two with serious head injuries and two with broken jaws.
The Israeli police said protesters hurled stones, fireworks and other objects at them, wounding six officers who required medical treatment. “We will respond with a heavy hand to all violent disturbances, riots and attacks on our forces,” it said in a statement late Friday.
The Al-Aqsa mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam. It is also the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it was the location of the biblical temples. It has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was the epicenter of the 2000 Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
Some 70,000 worshippers had attended the final midday Friday prayers of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa, the Islamic endowment that oversees the site said. Thousands protested afterwards, waving the green flags of the Islamic militant group Hamas and chanting pro-Hamas slogans.
At the beginning of Ramadan in mid-April, Israel blocked off a popular gathering spot where Palestinians traditionally socialize at the end of their daylong fast. The move set off two weeks of clashes before Israel lifted the restrictions.
But in recent days, protests have grown over Israel's threatened eviction in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem of dozens of Palestinians embroiled in a long legal battle with Israeli settlers trying to acquire property in the neighborhood.
The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about both the violence and the threatened evictions, and was in contact with leaders on both sides to try and de-escalate tensions.
“It is critical to avoid steps that exacerbate tensions or take us farther away from peace,” the US State Department said in a statement. “This includes evictions in East Jerusalem, settlement activity, home demolitions, and acts of terrorism.”
The European Union also urged calm. It said the potential evictions were of “serious concern," adding that such actions are "illegal under international humanitarian law and only serve to fuel tensions on the ground.
Neighboring Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1994 and is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, has also condemned Israel's actions, as has the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, which normalized relations with Israel last year in a US-brokered deal.
Israelis and Palestinians are bracing for more unrest in the coming days.
Sunday night is “Laylat al-Qadr” or the “Night of Destiny,” the most sacred in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Worshippers will gather for intense nighttime prayers at Al-Aqsa.
Sunday night is also the start of Jerusalem Day, a national holiday in which Israel celebrates its annexation of east Jerusalem and religious nationalists hold parades and other celebrations in the city. On Monday, an Israeli court is expected to issue a verdict on the evictions.
Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza — territories the Palestinians want for their future state — in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and views the entire city as its capital.


Drone attack on Iraqi base hosting US troops

Drone attack on Iraqi base hosting US troops
Updated 08 May 2021

Drone attack on Iraqi base hosting US troops

Drone attack on Iraqi base hosting US troops
  • The US accuses Iran-backed militia groups of launching regular rocket attacks against its troops in Iraq

BAGHDAD: A drone strike early on Saturday targeted a military base in Iraq that hosts US troops, causing only minor damage and no casualties, Iraq’s military and the US-led coalition said.
The pore-dawn attack damaged a hangar, tweeted coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto. He said the attack was under investigation. An Iraqi military statement also said no losses were reported.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The US has blamed Iran-backed militia groups for previous attacks, most of them rocket attacks that have targeted the American presence in Baghdad and military bases across Iraq.
Drone strikes are less common. In mid-April, an explosive-laden drone targeted the military section of the international airport in Irbil, in Iraq’s northern Kurdish-run region, causing no casualties or damages. The base also hosts US troops.
The attacks have been frequent since a US-directed drone strike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani near the Baghdad airport last year. Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack. The strike drew the ire of mostly Shiite Iraqi lawmakers and prompted parliament to pass a non-binding resolution to pressure the Iraqi government to oust foreign troops from the country.
The Biden administration has resumed strategic talks with Baghdad, initiated under President Donald Trump, in which the future of US troop presence in Iraq is a central point of discussion.


Philippines, Egypt added to Oman’s travel ban list

Philippines, Egypt added to Oman’s travel ban list
Updated 08 May 2021

Philippines, Egypt added to Oman’s travel ban list

Philippines, Egypt added to Oman’s travel ban list
  • Omani citizens, diplomats, health workers and their families are excluded from the latest rule

DUBAI: The Philippines and Egypt were the latest inclusion in Oman’s list where travelers from the said countries are banned from entering the Sultanate.

The decision was issued by the Supreme Committee, which takes lead in the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and took effect on Friday, May 7.

Travelers from Egypt and the Philippines, and those who transited in any of the said countries during the 14 days, are particularly affected by the travel restriction a report from Times of Oman said.

Omani citizens, diplomats, health workers and their families are excluded from the latest rule but are subject to the procedures adopted upon entering the Sultanate, the report added.

Oman earlier added India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to the travel ban list, joining Sudan, Lebanon, South Africa, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom where their residents have been barred from entering since February 24.


UAE reports 1,766 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths in last 24 hours

UAE reports 1,766 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths in last 24 hours
Updated 08 May 2021

UAE reports 1,766 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths in last 24 hours

UAE reports 1,766 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths in last 24 hours
  • The total number of recorded cases in the UAE is now at 532,710 since the pandemic began

DUBAI: UAE health authorities reported 1,766 new coronavirus cases after conducting 211,462 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, as well three deaths fatalities from the contagious disease.

The total number of recorded cases in the UAE is now at 532,710 since the pandemic began, with 1,607 confirmed deaths, a report from state news agency WAM said.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention reiterated its call for residents to adhere coronavirus protocols and maintain social distancing to ensure public health and safety.

Meanwhile, 141,283 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been provided during the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of doses provided to residents and citizens to 11,048,547.

The rate of vaccine distribution now stands at 111.71 doses per 100 people.