Cairo: Iran and Russia will cooperate to produce a COVID-19 vaccine in the Islamic republic as COVID-19 cases in Iran surged to 384,666 on Saturday. Meanwhile, an Iraqi health official warned that the citizens should not play down the seriousness of the coronavirus as 4,644 daily new infections were reported.
Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East region, reported 1,894 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 384,666, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
The pandemic has so far claimed 22,154 lives in Iran, up by 110 in the past 24 hours. A total of 332,131 coronavirus patients have recovered, with 3,708 still in critical condition.
The announcement of Iran-Russia cooperation on producing a coronavirus vaccine was made on Friday at the online meeting between Kazem Jalali, Iran's ambassador to Moscow and Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund, Iranian semi-official FARS news agency reported on Saturday.
Jalali called for further health and medical cooperation between the two countries.
In Iraq, 4,644 COVID-19 cases were reported during the day, bringing the total nationwide infections to 256,719.
The death toll rose to 7,422 with the addition of 63 new fatalities, while 3,891 more patients recovered in the day, bringing the total number of recoveries to 195,259.
"The lack of compliance of the citizens will increase the number of infections and make the ministry to stop at a certain stage because our health institutions have a limited capacity and this will also lead to an increase in deaths," Ryadh Abdul-Amir, head of Iraqi Public Health Department in the Health Ministry, said in a press release.
Saudi Arabia announced 791 new cases and 34 more deaths, raising the tally of confirmed infections to 319,932 and the death toll to 4,049.
The kingdom also reported 779 more recovered patients, taking the total recoveries to 295,842.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey climbed by 1,673 to 278,228, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.
The death toll from the coronavirus in the country rose to 6,620 after 56 new fatalities were added in the past 24 hours, Koca said, adding that the total recoveries increased to 250,092.
In Qatar, 227 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected, increasing the total number to 119,864, including 202 deaths and 116,780 recoveries.
In Israel, 2,517 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, taking the tally of coronavirus infections to 128,936.
The death toll of the virus in Israel increased to 1,007 while the recoveries rose to 101,481.
The country will soon impose a full nationwide closure because of the recent jump in coronavirus morbidity, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri told Channel 12 TV news on Saturday.
Kuwait reported 720 new cases, taking the country's total number of infections to 88,963, of whom 540 have died and 79,903 recovered.
In Morocco, the tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 70,160 after 1,555 new cases were added, which included 1,329 fatalities and 53,929 recoveries.
Algeria reported 298 new COVID-19 cases and 10 more deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total infection cases to 46,071 and the death toll to 1,549, while 222 more patients were newly discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 32,481.
Palestine reported 433 new coronavirus cases, raising the tally of infections in the Palestinian territories to 33,250, including 199 deaths.
In the mean time, Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip warned of the increase in the infections "because the residents do not abide by the precautionary instructions."
In Lebanon, the number of COVID-19 infections increased by 531 to 20,011, while the death toll went up by four to 187.
Sudan's nationwide coronavirus infections surged to 13,407 with 218 new ones, including 6,725 recoveries and 832 deaths.