The Media Line led over twenty years ago in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Look out for exciting new additions as we enter 2022.

We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.
The Media Line

Non-profit news needs public support.
Please support us with your generous contributions:
Return of the Mask Mandate

Return of the Mask Mandate

As the aggressive delta strain becomes dominant in Israel, the country is seeing a worrying increase in new COVID-19 infections, even among the already vaccinated

Israel’s indoor mask mandate will be reinstated starting Sunday due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, coronavirus czar Dr. Nachman Ash said in a press conference on Thursday.

Israel’s Health Ministry recorded 169 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest increase in the last two months and the fourth consecutive day in which new cases exceeded 100.

Ash said that while the government had no plans to bar Israelis from leaving or re-entering the country, “I call on the public to consider whether going abroad at this time is essential. It is advisable to avoid nonessential travel abroad.”

Testing and the isolation of those who return from abroad would make a travel ban unnecessary, Ash said, but observing proper isolation procedures was “our Achilles’ heel.”

“Isolation violators are everybody’s problem – that’s the way the disease is spreading now,” Ash said.

Health Ministry statistics show that the virus is now spreading most rapidly in Israel among young people, ages 10 to 19. On Monday, the ministry recommended that children ages 12 to 15 be vaccinated.

Nevertheless, Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Chezy Levy told Kan public radio earlier this week that 40-50% of the new cases were among people already vaccinated.

This worrying statistic could be a sign that vaccination is less effective against the aggressive delta variant, which is quickly taking over as the dominant variant around the world. Levy said that 70% of new infections were from the delta variant.

But Ash explained that because most Israelis are already vaccinated, the percentage of vaccinated people among those now testing positive was also likely to increase. “It does not say anything about the effectiveness of the vaccine. We are trying to analyze the data to really see if there is a sign of declining vaccine efficacy.”

On Thursday, Pfizer Israel’s medical director, Alon Rappaport, told Army Radio that the Pfizer vaccine was 90% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases, and 95% effective in preventing severe cases that require hospitalization. These statistics, he said, were based on studies that included places where the delta variant was dominant.

Ash cautioned at his Thursday presser that, due to the delta strain, a higher rate of vaccination would be necessary to reach the herd immunity threshold. “We will need at least 80% – and maybe even more than that – to reach herd immunity. We are still far from that number.”

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 8 pm Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0) on Thursday.

CountryConfirmed CasesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Afghanistan111,5924,51966,79940,274
Algeria137,0493,66095,33138,058
Bahrain264,1071,330256,9335,844
Cyprus73,99937472,1991,426
Djibouti11,59715511,4366
Egypt278,76115,967207,41155,383
Iran3,140,12983,4732,797,105259,551
Iraq1,311,09316,9991,217,98276,112
Israel840,4306,429833,212789
Jordan748,6859,703732,4756,507
Kuwait344,7991,894324,57818,327
Lebanon543,8657,832530,6895,344
Libya191,6603,185177,10611,369
Mauritania20,47348319,514476
Morocco528,1809,265515,0303,885
Oman256,5422,848224,07729,617
Pakistan951,86522,108896,82132,936
Palestinian Territories313,0153,555306,5322,928
Qatar221,378587218,9281,863
Saudi Arabia479,3907,730460,33811,322
Somalia14,8687757,2166,877
Sudan36,5582,75030,4043,404
Syria25,2481,85521,7661,627
Tunisia395,36214,406342,59838,358
Turkey5,393,24849,4175,254,70889,123
United Arab Emirates618,1481,773597,00819,367
Yemen6,8981,3553,9901,553
Total17,258,939274,42716,222,186762,326

 

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today.
Thank you!

We paved the way to be the Trusted Mid East News you can rely on!

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.