CAIRO, March 3 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi health ministry reported on Wednesday 5,173 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020. Meanwhile, Iran called on its people to refrain from travelling during the two-week holiday of the Iranian New Year starting March 21 given the epidemic.
Iraq has so far confirmed a total of 708,951 coronavirus cases in the country.
It also reported 25 new fatalities on Wednesday, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,483, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 3,463 to 646,619.
A statement by the media office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety decided to task the health ministry with evaluating the epidemiological situation and presenting a report on whether to continue the ongoing curfew.
In Iran, the overall number of coronavirus cases has grown to 1,656,699 after 8,525 new infections were detected in the past 24 hours, while the pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 60,353 Iranians, up by 86 in the past 24 hours, according to Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for the Iranian health ministry.
She said 764 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the past 24 hours, adding 11 Iranian counties in the southwestern province of Khuzestan are still on red alert for a high risk of infection.
As the arguably hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Middle East, Turkey reported 11,520 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including 689 symptomatic ones, raising the total confirmed number in the country to 2,734,836.
In addition, 65 people died in the past 24 hours from the virus, taking the death toll to 28,771, while the number of the total recoveries has risen to 2,593,264.
According to the Turkish health ministry, more than 9.43 million doses of China's COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Turkey by Wednesday.
Israel's Ministry of Health reported 4,173 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the total tally in the country to 788,869, while the death toll from the virus rose to 5,802 , with 16 new fatalities added.
The number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Israel surpassed 4.83 million, or 51.9 percent of its total population, since the vaccination campaign began on Dec. 20, 2020.
Palestine reported on Wednesday 2017 new COVID-19 cases and 15 fatalities, raising the total number of infections in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem to 214,502 and the death toll to 2,296.
It is the seventh consecutive day that the number of the single-day new cases has exceeded 1,500 in Palestine, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Morocco reported 594 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths on Wednesday, raising the tally of infections to 484,753 and the death toll to 8,653 in the North African country.
A total of 3,745,173 people have received the first vaccine shot against COVID-19 in Morocco, and 360,689 have received the second dose, since a nationwide vaccination campaign on Jan. 28 after the arrival of the first shipment of China's Sinopharm vaccines.
The Qatari health ministry on Wednesday announced 471 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number in the Gulf state to 165,071, official Qatar News Agency reported.
Oman reported 358 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the total number in the sultanate to 142,527, according to a statement by the Omani health ministry.
In Kuwait, 1,409 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths were reported on Wednesday, raising the tally of infections to 194,781 and the death toll to 1,097.
Kuwait has extended a ban on entry of non-Kuwaiti travelers to the country and decided to close land and sea borders until March 20.
As the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday announced 2,692 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 399,463.
The UAE health ministry also reported 1,589 more recoveries from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries in the UAE to 385,587.
Lebanon registered on Wednesday 3,463 new COVID-19 cases, raising the number of infections to 383,482, the Health Ministry said.
Hoda Samra, a spokeswoman of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East told Xinhua on Wednesday that a total of 7,288 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon were infected with COVID-19 between Feb. 20, 2020 and March 2, 2021.
There currently exists 1,303 COVID-19 cases among Palestinian refugees and 231 have died from the virus, Samra said. Enditem