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Arab World Struck Hard By Covid-19

According to a report in Israeli media outlets today, the Arab world has been hit hard by the Covid-19 Coronavirus. In Iran, according to stats published by the regime, the virus has already infected over 35,000 people with the death toll currently more than 2,500 and climbing.

Many experts have estimated, however, that actual numbers within the Iranian regime are far higher than the ones published by the regime itself and that the government is intentionally covering up the full scope of the tragedy out of fear that chaos and anarchy will ensue should the general public learns of the extent of the disaster.

The Regional Director of the World Health Organization in the Middle East, Ahmed al-Mandhari, stated that most of the virus-related data in the Arab world is poorly communicated in the best case scenarios and intentionally covered up at worst. According to al-Mandhari, the latest reports point to contradictory data that doesn’t add up and Arab nations have demonstrated a lack of responsibility in their efforts to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.

In Lebanon flights from China, Iran, and Italy were suspended only as of March 11, a move whose delay provoked social unrest and accusations against Hezbollah for taking orders from Tehran. Neighboring Syria finally ordered a partial lockdown in recent days, along with a curfew in only some provinces after the local health system reported the first virus infection in the country.

Jordan seems to be one of the few Arab states that took necessary steps for avoiding catastrophe as they did close borders, declared a general lockdown, imposed a curfew, and placed soldiers at entrances and exit points to the capital and other major cities in the kingdom.

Throughout the Arab world, healthcare systems are shaky at best, suffering from severe medical shortages when it comes to critical equipment such as respirators, test kits, and essential drugs for providing life-saving functions. In some Arab states, senior government officials have already begun making attempts to deflect blame for their inability to cope with the virus. Government-organized protests have been staged in Egypt, Jordan and other countries raging against the “American-Zionist corona conspiracy”.

As the pandemic spreads throughout the region and the number of infected and dead continues to climb, a marked difference can be noted between the wealthy Gulf kingdoms that can afford large-scale acquisitions of respirators, test kits and life-saving medicines, and Arab states failing due to a virtual void in public health.

On top of that, Gulf states have begun pointing the finger at Iran for flaming the outbreak as a result of the regime’s poor approach to handling the virus while concealing crucial information.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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