Egypt, Iran Report Huge Daily Increases in Coronavirus Cases
Egyptian health officials on Tuesday reported 720 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily toll in the country. It came a day after Cairo registered 535 new cases of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the pathogen – which was to that point the largest number reported in a 24-hour period. The trend has raised concerns that the coronavirus has not been contained in the Arab world’s most populous nation, where a relatively modest 13,500 people have contracted the illness. In response, Egyptian authorities announced that international flights, which were first banned on March 20, would be suspended indefinitely. The new figures from Cairo come as Iran, considered the epicenter of the Middle East’s outbreak, reported more than 2,100 new cases of COVID-19. While officials have claimed that the spread of the contagion had been curbed in most of the country, they warned of a deterioration in the health situation in at least four provinces. Tehran has confirmed some 125,000 cases of the virus and about 7,200 resulting deaths, although many believe that the regime is underreporting both tallies.