Support Our Future Leaders

The Media Line is known for producing truthful, unbiased journalism and we are teaching future journalists to do the same. Through our signature Press and Policy Student Program, The Media Line provides an innovative opportunity for students to globalize their educational experience by connecting to an active news bureau in the Middle East, studying journalism and public policy under the mentorship of veteran journalists while earning academic credit.

These students will reshape how the world sees and understands the Middle East and, in turn, how the Middle East impacts our world. Your contribution will provide the next generation with the skills they need to uphold the highest standards of journalism and, in turn, educate our global society with integrity and respect.

Thank you!

“The Press and Policy Student Program has elevated my global awareness, supported my journalistic efforts, and propelled me on the path of future success within the news industry.”
Press and Policy Student Program Participant
Carla Warren, University of Houston
Thank you and best wishes.
 
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
Coronavirus Mideast Roundup
Medical staff in protective gears distribute information sheets to Iraqi passengers returning from Iran at Najaf International Airport on March 5, 2020. (Haidar Hamdani/AFP via Getty Images)

Coronavirus Mideast Roundup

The latest COVID-19 information and statistics for the Middle East and North Africa

Coronavirus cases are increasing worldwide as countries continue to put drastic measures in place to try and contain the pandemic.

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University is tracking the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries around the world. As of Friday morning, there were 532,788 confirmed cases globally with 24,077 deaths and 122,672 recoveries.

Governments across the Middle East and North Africa are ramping up their efforts at stopping the spread of the disease. Examples include the United Arab Emirates enforcing nationwide night curfews; Iran banning intercity travel; Saudi Arabia imposing a countrywide lockdown; and Israel closing all schools, universities, cultural and recreational establishments.

But are these measures enough to defeat the deadly virus?

Steven Cook, Middle East and Africa studies fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is not optimistic that the MENA region will be as effective as possible in containing the coronavirus because of a combination of factors.

Cook told The Media Line that leaders who many citizens see as illegitimate and weak public health systems could spell disaster for stopping the spread of COVID-19 in countries such as Egypt with its densely populated capital of Cairo – home to more than 20 million people.

While Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has increased measures at curbing the coronavirus such as a countrywide curfew, the slow response initially could have exacerbated the problem.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Egypt – 495 – is possibly being underreported. A University of Toronto research team led by infectious disease expert, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, estimate that the true number of coronavirus cases in Egypt is nearly 20,000, which prompted a response from Egyptian authorities demanding apologies from The New York Times and The Guardian newspapers for publishing the claims.

But it is not just political leaders potentially obfuscating and providing misleading information that is hampering efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus. State-run media is proving to be an obstacle as well.

To stop the spread of coronavirus it is important to know how it is being spread.

“COVID-19 is spreading within borders, particularly Iran, and there are new reports of outbreaks in Iraq. The problem in ascertaining the how, however, is that with primarily state-controlled media in the region, it is difficult to analyze how the disease is spreading,” said Ibrahim Al-Marashi, history professor at California State University San Marcos. “For example, while the first Saudi case was a pilgrim who came from Iran, no Saudi media offered details of how it spread beyond that patient zero.”

The responsibility is with governments to clamp down on conspiracy theories aired by state-run media, according to Al-Marashi.

“Conspiracy theories often obfuscate the scientific bases of an epidemic and often hinder the public’s cooperation with the implementation of public health measures,” Al-Marashi said.

According to Al-Marashi, regional and sectarian tensions also need to be overcome to allow for more information sharing and coordination with the World Health Organization.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of Friday morning at 10 am (GMT+3).

CountryConfirmed casesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Afghanistan944288
Algeria3672529313
Bahrain4584204250
Cyprus14634139
Djibouti110011
Egypt49524102369
Iran29,4062,33410,45716,715
Iraq38236105241
Israel3,03510792,946
Jordan21201211
Kuwait208049159
Lebanon368623339
Libya1001
Mauritania3003
Morocco275118256
Oman10902386
Pakistan1,2359231,203
Palestinian Territories8611768
Qatar549043506
Saudi Arabia1,012333976
Somalia2002
Sudan3102
Syria5005
Tunisia19752190
Turkey3,62975263,528
United Arab Emirates333252279
Yemenn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.
Total42,6212,55311,28228,886

 

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
 
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

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.