CAIRO, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 pandemic in Iran continued its week-long downward trend on Wednesday as less than 2,000 new cases were reported. Meanwhile, Turkey's tally of infections with the novel coronavirus was poised to pass 40,000.
Iran reported 1,997 new COVID-19 cases and 121 more deaths from the infectious disease, bringing the tally of infections to 64,586 and the death toll to 3,993.
Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, expressed the hope that Iran would be able to control the pace of the virus spread in the following days.
Mohammad Nahavandian, Iranian vice president for economic affairs, said the United States cannot block Iran's request for a loan of 5 billion U.S. dollars from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for fighting the novel coronavirus.
"The IMF policy should be fair in assessing and approving loan requests" for its members, Nahavandian said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomed a recent proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to lift global sanctions and create green trade corridors as the world grapples with COVID-19 pandemic.
In Turkey, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed 4,117 new COVID-19 cases and 87 more deaths, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 38,226 and the death toll to 812.
The minister noted that 1,846 patients have recovered since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, while 1,492 patients are being treated at the intensive care units.
Koca said that a new mobile app will be launched to track novel coronavirus patients to see if they are isolated or leaving home.
In Israel, another hard-hit country in the region, the Health Ministry announced 156 new COVID-19 cases and eight more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 9,404 and the death toll to 73.
Israel imposed a nationwide curfew from 3 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday to curb the spread of the disease.
Israeli scientists have developed a portable inexpensive ventilator, costing around 500 U.S. dollars per unit, local media reported.
The new device, "AmboVent," was developed by scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the countries that suffer shortage of ventilators amid the coronavirus pandemic. It has already been purchased by 20 countries.
Saudi Arabia announced 327 new coronavirus cases, raising the tally of infections to 2,932, which include 41 deaths and 631 recoveries.
The Saudi Social Development Bank announced the launch of a health care fund with a budget of 2 billion Saudi Riyals (533 million U.S. dollars) to support 12 health specialities and establishments that are licensed by the Health Ministry.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 300 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 2,659. The tally of the recoveries in the UAE rose to 239, after 53 more patients made full recovery from the virus.
Qatar confirmed 153 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 2,210, of whom 178 have recovered after 28 more recoveries were added on Wednesday.
In Iraq, the Health Ministry confirmed 80 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total cases to 1,202, of whom 69 have died and 425 have recovered.
Egypt reported 110 new COVID-19 cases and nine more deaths, raising the total number of cases in the country to 1,560, including 103 fatalities.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced extending the nationwide nighttime curfew that started on March 25 for another two weeks until April 23.
Morocco reported 91 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,275, while the death toll reached 93.
Oman's Ministry of Health announced 48 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 419, including 72 recoveries.
In Lebanon, the total number of COVID-19 cases increased by 27 to 575, while the death toll remained unchanged at 19.
Algeria reported 12 new deaths from COVID-19 and 104 more confirmed cases, raising the death toll to 205 and the tally of infections to 1,572.
In Jordan, Health Minister Saad Jaber confirmed five new coronavirus cases, raising the tally of COVID-19 infections to 358.
Jordan's Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said a two-day full curfew will be imposed on the upcoming weekend lasting from Thursday night until Saturday midnight, in a bid to curb the coronavirus spread.
The minister also voiced appreciation to China's world-renowned billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma for donating much-needed medical equipment to Jordan.