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The Middle East at war with coronavirus: Top stories from 22 April

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Date of publication: 22 April, 2020

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Lebanon confirms its first case at a refugee camp, Turkish medics criticise government over health worker deaths and other stories in today's daily roundup.
Here are five stories you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting the Middle East on April 22:

1. Lebanon reports first coronavirus case at Palestinian refugee camp

Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon has been put on lockdown after the United Nations announced the first confirmed case of coronavirus in one of the country's numerous crowded camps.

The patient, a Palestinian refugee from Syria, has been taken to the state-run Rafic Hariri hospital in Beirut, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said in a statement late Tuesday.

Medical experts will visit the Wavel Camp in the eastern Bekaa Valley too carry out tests of the woman's relatives and people she had interacted with.

Read more here

2. Yemen receives thousands of test kits to deal with Covid-19 outbreak

Yemen
 is set to receive tens of thousands of coronavirus testing kits and medical equipment from a group of multi-national companies amid fears the country's all but collapsed health system is ill-equipped to handle an outbreak.

The International Initiative on Covid-19 in Yemen (IICY) is spearheading the initiative. IICY said that its first 34-tonne shipment would reach the war-torn country next week, Reuters reported.

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3. Turkish medics lash out at government over deaths of health workers

Turkey's top medical association on Wednesday accused the government of failing to protect health workers after 24 medics died of the Covid-19 illness this month.

Close to 3,500 medical professionals have also been infected with the virus in Turkey, making up about 3.6 percent of the country's total cases. Of the 24 health professionals who died, 14 were doctors. 

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB), which represents 80 percent of the country's physicians, blamed the deaths and infections on a lack of action from Ankara. 

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4. Muslims create 'mini mosques' to beat Ramadan lockdown blues

Leading Muslim organisations in the UK and US are campaigning for fellow believers to create "mini mosques" inside their homes this Ramadan, as places of worship shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign "seeks to encourage parents and spouses all over the world to bring joy and happiness to their children and families by crafting 'mini' prayer space", said Muhammad Sattaur, Founding Executive Director of the Imam Ghazali Institute.

"We've seen tremendous love and support for the idea. It seems very natural and unifying to come together on the premise of building a fun engaging family environment for our children in the comfort of their own home," Sattaur told The New Arab.

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5. Delayed Turkish coronavirus aid arrives in UK

A British health minister has confirmed that a delayed shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) has arrived from Turkey to the UK, one of the countries worst hit by the virus.

Care Minister Helen Whately said at least part of the consignment arrived on a Royal Air Force flight on Wednesday. Whatley gave no explanation for the four-day hold-up in the delivery, but said that checks were being carried out on the order.

According to sources cited by The Guardian, the RAF aircraft was estimated to be carrying 20 of the 84 tonnes of stock ordered from Turkey. The order includes 400,000 protective gowns for NHS frontliners, who are currently using around 150,000 gowns per day.

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