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Iran starts human trials of indigenous COVID-19 vaccine; Turkey’s tally tops 2.17 mln

People attend the funeral of a COVID-19 victim at Ortakoy cemetery in Ankara, Turkey, on Dec. 29, 2020. In Turkey, the total COVID-19 cases surged to 2,178,580 while the death toll from the disease climbed to 20,388 after 253 more fatalities were confirmed. The tally of recoveries in Turkey rose by 21,004 to 2,058,437.

Cairo, Egypt | THE INDEPENDENT |    Iran on Tuesday started the human trials of its indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, the tally of Turkey’s coronavirus cases surpassed 2.17 million after 15,805 new infections were added.

CovIran Barekat, the first Iranian domestic vaccine for COVID-19, entered the stage of human trials, Hojjat Nik Maleki, spokesman of the headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam Khomeini (EIKO), was quoted by Iranian media as saying.

EIKO is a state-owned enterprise under the direct control of the country’s Supreme Leadership Authority led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A total of 56 volunteers received the vaccine at the current stage of the trial, said EIKO.

Iran announced on Tuesday 6,108 new COVID-19 infections, raising its overall count of coronavirus cases to 1,212,481.

The death toll from the virus in Iran climbed by 132 to 54,946, while a total of 969,408 patients have recovered, Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said at her daily briefing.

In Turkey, the total COVID-19 cases surged to 2,178,580 while the death toll from the disease climbed to 20,388 after 253 more fatalities were confirmed. The tally of recoveries in Turkey rose by 21,004 to 2,058,437.

Iraq’s Ministry of Health reported 1,013 new COVID-19 cases in the country, bringing its total infections to 593,541.

The ministry also reported nine new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 12,800, and 1,487 more recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 534,801.

Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 5,352 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 409,338.

The death toll from the virus in Israel rose to 3,257 with 17 new fatalities, while the number of patients in serious condition remained unchanged at 609, out of 1,030 hospitalized patients.

The ministry said the number of vaccinated people in Israel had reached 495,000 since the vaccination campaign began on Dec. 20.

The total revenues of tourist hotels in Israel fell by nearly 58 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2020, according to a report issued by the state’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

The revenues amounted to 4 billion new shekels (about 1.25 billion U.S. dollars) in January-September this year, much lower than 9.5 billion shekels in the corresponding period last year, the report said.

Morocco announced on Tuesday 2,160 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally in the North African country since March 2 to 435,189.

The number of recoveries from the coronavirus in Morocco increased to 401,429 after 1,854 more were added, while the death toll rose by 42 to 7,314, the Moroccan Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia reported 149 more COVID-19 cases and eight more fatalities, taking its tally of infections to 362,488 and its death toll to 6,204. The tally of recoveries in the kingdom surged by 159 to 353,512.

Jordan announced 1,645 new coronavirus infections and 23 more deaths from the virus, taking the tally of confirmed cases to 291,393 and its death toll to 3,801.

The tally of recoveries in Jordan increased to 266,622 after 2,561 more patients recovered from the disease.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported 1,506 new coronavirus cases and two more deaths, raising its total infections to 204,369 and its death toll to 662. The total number of recoveries in the UAE rose by 1,475 to 181,400.

Lebanon recorded 2,298 new COVID-19 cases and 21 more deaths, bringing its tally to 175,118 and its death count to 1,430. The total recoveries in Lebanon climbed to 125,473 after 1,239 more patients recovered.

Kuwait reported 236 new COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to 150,093, including 932 deaths and 146,056 recoveries.

Kuwait will resume flights at Kuwait International Airport at 4:00 p.m. local time (1300 GMT) on Saturday, Kuwait’s Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) said Tuesday.

The Kuwaiti government decided to suspend all international commercial flights and close its land and sea border crossings from Dec. 21, 2020 until Jan. 1, 2021 to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Qatar’s Health Ministry on Tuesday announced 206 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 143,428, while the total fatalities increased by one to 245.

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