Blog archive: All

  • 16th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Coronavirus infections in Iran are increasing again and the country's epidemic looks to be heading for a second wave. The first wave peaked at the end of March when the daily count of new cases briefly rose above 3,000. Throughout the following month new cases dropped steadily, reaching a...
  • 15th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Unidentified militiamen entered the intensive care unit at al-Jala hospital in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Sunday and opened fire. Medical staff escaped with their lives but seven respirators were badly damaged, along with an ultrasound machine and several monitors. In Libya's internal...
  • 14th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Every day this month Saudi Arabia has reported more new Covid-19 infections than any other country in the Middle East. A further 1,905 cases were confirmed yesterday and the cumulative total since the virus first arrived in the kingdom is frighteningly large – just under 45,000. There are tentative...
  • 13th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Considering Lebanon's political and economic chaos its efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 infections have been surprisingly effective. Eleven weeks after the virus first arrived in the country there have been only 870 confirmed cases among a population of almost seven million. Lebanon...
  • 12th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday, for the first time since March 8, Tunisia reported no new cases of Covid-19. This is just one of several hopeful signs that the virus is receding. Official figures show the recovery rate is now higher than the infection rate, and the number of currently-active cases has more than...
  • 11th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Kuwait has been placed under a round-the-clock curfew following the discovery of a major Covid-19 outbreak among employees at supermarkets. One large Kuwaiti chain, the Khaldya Cooperative Society, shut its doors until further notice after 103 workers – about 40% of its total staff – tested...
  • 10th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Indian citizens have begun returning home from Arab states in the Gulf as part of a massive operation to repatriate them. Migrant workers in the Gulf have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and many have been anxious to leave. Some nationalities have been able to do so...
  • 9th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Jordan announced new measures yesterday to stem the spread of Covid-19 infections from neighbouring Saudi Arabia. The move is in response to a new outbreak of the disease which was brought into Jordan by a cross-border truck driver. The driver had been tested at the...
  • 8th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Among the Arab countries, Jordan has been one of the most successful in combating the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus. By Wednesday, 10 days had elapsed without any new infections coming to light inside the kingdom but now there's a sudden spate of new cases. Twenty-nine have been reported...
  • 7th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Evidence has emerged that the Houthi movement's unrecognised government in northern Yemen is concealing Covid-19 infections even after they have been confirmed by laboratory testing. So far, the Houthis have not acknowledged any cases among Yemenis in the areas they control, though they have...
  • 6th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Houthis who rule over much of northern Yemen have now confirmed what many had long suspected: that the Covid-19 virus is present in the territory they control. Yesterday their health minister announced that a man found dead in a hotel in the capital, Sana'a, on Sunday had been...
  • 5th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi firms that run into financial trouble because of the coronavirus epidemic will be allowed to cut workers' wages by 40% – and then sack them after six months – under a decision approved by the kingdom's ministry of human resources. In legal terms, it means companies can break existing...

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