As of the afternoon on Saturday, May 30 there were 587,777 cases recorded across the Middle East. Turkey and Iran have the most coronavirus cases with 162,120 and 146,668 respectively. In many countries cases continue to climb, especially in the Gulf, Iraq and Egypt. Total deaths in the region, from morocco to Iran, come to 15,519.
The Middle East has had relatively low numbers of the virus, especially in the early days of the outbreak. However those number have been climbing, especially as better testing methods came on line in places like the Gulf. Many countries that are in the midst of conflict or have low testing rates continue to claim low numbers that may not be accurate. For instance, Oman has more than 9,800 cases and 42 deaths while neighboring Yemen claims to have only 283 cases and 65 deaths. Yemen is in the midst of civil war and the numbers are likely much higher. Similarly Libya claims only 118 cases, but international organizations provide no support to help Libya conduct widespread testing and the country is in the midst of a civil war.
There are low rates in countries bordering Israel, including Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. There are only 730 recorded cases in Jordan. These countries have seen cases grow relatively slowly in the last two weeks. Lebanon’s numbers increased only 22%, from 911 to 1,172. The Palestinian Authority says it has only 447 cases versus 381 on May 18.
Turkey and Iran are the worst hit, with almost 4,500 dead in Turkey and more than 7,000 killed in Iran from the pandemic. However Turkey and Iran have appeared to slow the spread in recent weeks and Iran is seeking to re-open mosques as Turkey also seeks to relax restrictions. In contrast Baghdad has sought to increase measures against the pandemic as numbers rose.
In North Africa it is Tunisia that has done best against the virus, with just over 1,000 cases. Morocco has more than 7,000 cases and Algeria stood at 9,134 today. Algeria has also seen almost 1,000 deaths while Tunisia saw 48.
The Gulf states have a high number of cases per capita, with more than 50,000 cases in Qatar and 33,170 in the UAE. However most of these states have a very low death toll. In Bahrain, despite more 10,400 cases, fifteen deaths were recorded. Better health care systems and testing likely was responsible for the outcome in the Gulf States.