The Middle East at war with coronavirus
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
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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