The Middle East at war with coronavirus
1. UAE reopens malls, eases curfew for Ramadan after coronavirus shutdown
The United Arab Emirates decided on Thursday to reopen malls, cafes and restaurants and ease lockdown restrictions imposed last month to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the occasion of Ramadan.
The curfew will be from 10 pm to 6 am while malls will be allowed to operate for 10 hours daily starting from midday on Friday, the first day of the Islamic holy month, an official statement cited by the state-run WAM news agency said.
Supermarkets, food outlets, groceries and pharmacies will be allowed to operate round the clock, but mosques will remain shut during the holy month, the statement said.
Muslims around the world began marking Ramadan under coronavirus lockdown on Friday with unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers, while a pushback in some countries has sparked fears of a surge in infections.
Read also: How coronavirus has changed the way Muslims celebrate Ramadan
This year, the holy daytime fasting month will be a sombre affair for many across Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
Widespread rules have been imposed banning praying in mosques or meeting relatives and friends for large "iftar" meals at dusk - a centrepiece of the month-long fast.
Iran's health ministry spokesperson said all Iranian provinces were out of the 'red' zone for Covid-19, as the country beings to ease virus restrictions.
Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the 93 novel coronavirus fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours took Iran's overall death toll to 5,574.
4. Lebanon tightens security around refugee camp after coronavirus outbreak
The four infected with the virus are relatives of a woman who tested positive earlier this week and are isolating inside their home, according to a statement from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. It said they were so far not in need of hospital treatment.
5. Saudi-led coalition extends Yemen ceasefire by a month due to virus pandemic
The extension comes after Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels rejected a two-week ceasefire declared by the military coalition that ended on Thursday.
During the two-week truce, battles persisted between the Houthis and Yemen's Saudi-backed government while coalition jets mounted dozens of air raids on rebel targets.