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The Middle East at war with coronavirus: Top stories from 25 March

Five stories from the Middle East [TNA]

Date of publication: 25 March, 2020

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The coronavirus has led to a stricter clampdown in the Middle East of social gatherings. Here are five stories you need to know about coronavirus in the Middle East today

Here are 5 stories you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting the Middle East and beyond on Wednesday, March 25.

1) Libya reports its first case

Libya reported its first case of the novel coronavirus (click to read more) on Tuesday, the country's National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said, prompting fears of a major outbreak of the disease that the war-torn country's debilitated healthcare system may be unable to handle.

2) Mecca, Medina, Riyadh in lockdown as Saudi coronavirus cases spike

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has enforced a full lockdown on Riyadh, Mecca and Medina (click to read more) as of Thursday in new measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

Residents from the three cities will be unable to enter or exit, with increased measures to halt movement.

3) The coronavirus outbreak could have dire implications for Palestinian refugees

Covid-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is sweeping its way across the world, and on 11 March the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a pandemic. Palestinian refugees are among some of the most vulnerable in the Middle East to the coronavirus pandemic, says Yara Hawari. Read more here.

4) UN calls for ceasefire, prisoner release as coronavirus threatens catastrophe in Syria

The United Nations on Tuesday called (click for more) for a total ceasefire in Syria and for the release of tens thousands of detainees and abductees, as coronavirus threatens to wreak catastrophe on the war-torn country.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, called on all sides to launch an "all-out effort" to combat the potentially deadly virus, after Damascus recorded its first case of coronavirus on Sunday.


5) More Somalis are dying of coronavirus in Sweden than any other group

Somali-Swedes have criticised authorities for not doing enough to support the community during the coronavirus pandemic, national broadcaster SVT has reported.

It comes as it was reported that six of the 15 people who have died from the virus in the Scandinavian country come from Stockholm's Somali community.

Read more here.


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