Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, August 4, 2021


The Media Line: Iran Locks Down Amid Fear of Fifth Wave

Roundup – Iran Locks Down Amid Fear of Fifth Wave

Egypt manufactures vaccine doses of China’s Sinovac and Oman announces lockdown for Eid Al Adha

By Tara Kavaler/The Media Line

Iran declared on July 4 that all non-essential businesses in the Islamic Republic would be shuttered in 275 cities, and inter-Iran travel would no longer be permitted, according to the Associated Press. This comes as fear grows of a “fifth wave” of COVID-19 throughout the nation amid a spike in new cases. With over 80,000 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, Iran is the hardest hit country in the Middle East North Africa region when it comes to coronavirus fatalities.

Under 5% of Iranians have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, compared to just over 72% of people living in the United Arab Emirates, which surpassed the Seychelles as the most inoculated nation in the world this week.

The UAE’s Federal Authority for Government Human Resources announced on Thursday that at the beginning of next month unvaccinated individuals must present a negative PCR test result from the last 48 hours in order to visit federal government departments and ministries.

Just a few days ago, Abu Dhabi approved the emergency use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes as the Tunisian government announced it would buy 3.5 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as the number of cases in the North African country have skyrocketed. The country’s prime minister, Hichem Mechichi, just returned to work on July 5 since contracting the coronavirus.

In other vaccine news, Egypt announced July 7 that it had manufactured over 1,000 doses developed by China’s Sinovac, using its local facilities, with a daily output of up to 300,000 doses.  Sinovac reportedly has delivered raw materials to produce 2 million doses of the vaccine, and has sent technicians to supervise the production.

Meanwhile, Oman announced a total lockdown during the upcoming three-day Eid Al Adha, or Festival of Sacrifice, which begins on the evening of July 19. The lockdown during the festival will include a ban on family gatherings, Eid greeting assemblies and collective celebrations of the Eid. In addition, the country will remain under an evening curfew which closes all commercial activities and bans the movement of individuals and vehicles, beginning on July 16 and ending on July 31.

Israel suffered two deaths from complications of the coronavirus on Thursday, the first such fatalities in over two weeks. One of the fatalities was an unvaccinated 48-year-old man and the other was an 86-year-old man who had been vaccinated with both shots. The deaths are part of a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Israel, which has seen a rise in cases due to the delta variant. On Wednesday, the first cases of the more mutated delta plus variant also were reported.

Israel’s coronavirus cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss ways to halt the spread of the virus Among its decisions are orders to carry out rapid coronavirus tests at the entrances to geriatric facilities and at summer camps and to increase public information campaigns emphasizing getting vaccinated, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. In an effort to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country, all travelers from abroad will be required to quarantine until receiving a negative coronavirus test result of the test taken at Ben Gurion Airport.


Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 3:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0) on Thursday.


Country Confirmed Cases Deaths Recovered Active Cases
Afghanistan 130,113 5,477 77,280 47,356
Algeria 143,032 3,786 99,510 39,736
Bahrain 266,797 1,367 263,893 1,537
Cyprus 80,588 380 72,999 7,209
Djibouti 11,609 155 11,446 8
Egypt 282,582 16,332 216,217 50,033
Iran 3,327,526 85,397 2,981,019 261,110
Iraq 1,406,289 17,444 1,287,903 100,942
Israel 844,684 6,429 834,687 3,568
Jordan 755,480 9,812 738,873 6,795
Kuwait 369,227 2,059 348,850 18,318
Lebanon 546,366 7,867 533,761 4,738
Libya 199,526 3,227 180,204 16,095
Mauritania 21,303 490 20,079 734
Morocco 537,253 9,341 521,671 6,241
Oman 281,688 3,371 250,564 27,753
Pakistan 967,633 22,493 910,609 34,531
Palestinian Territories 314,869 3,577 309,251 2,041
Qatar 222,918 596 220,762 1,560
Saudi Arabia 497,773 7,933 478,127 11,713
Somalia 14,995 775 7,252 6,968
Sudan 36,805 2,760 30,647 3,398
Syria 25,735 1,893 21,867 1,975
Tunisia 464,914 15,735 372,985 76,194
Turkey 5,459,923 50,048 5,328,747 81,128
United Arab Emirates 645,653 1,849 623,826 19,978
Yemen 6,934 1,364 4,117 1,453
Total 17,862,215 281,957 16,747,146 833,112


Steven Ganot contributed to this report.


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