Roundup: Gaza starts COVID-19 vaccination campaign; Turkey has vaccinated over 5.9 mln people

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CAIRO, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Gaza Strip launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Monday, while over 5.9 million people in Turkey have been vaccinated against the virus.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza launched the vaccination campaign to inoculate the medical staff. Those who are vulnerable to the virus, especially the elderly as well as patients with chronic diseases, will also be vaccinated, Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman of the ministry, said at a press conference held in Gaza city.

Al-Qidra added that the vaccination campaign came after the Gaza health ministry received two batches of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines.

Former Palestinian ministers and dozens of medical staff were vaccinated at Shuhadaa al-Remal medical center in Gaza city on Monday.

The Gaza Strip has recorded a total of 54,770 COVID-19 cases.

Turkey on Monday confirmed 8,104 new COVID-19 cases, including 623 symptomatic patients, taking the total number of positive cases in the country to 2,646,526.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 78 to 28,138, while the total recoveries climbed to 2,529,450 after 5,690 more cases recovered in the last 24 hours, according to the Turkish health ministry.

Turkey started mass COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine. More than 5,939,000 people have been vaccinated so far.

Iran's health ministry reported 8,263 daily COVID-19 cases on Monday, raising the total nationwide infections to 1,582,275.

The pandemic has so far claimed 59,572 lives in Iran, up by 89 in the past 24 hours, said Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education, during her daily briefing.

A total of 1,351,390 people have recovered from the disease and been discharged from hospitals, she added.

Iran's health minister Saeed Namaki on Monday criticized non-compliance of some citizens to the health directives in some parts of the country.

After over one year of emergence of the first cases of COVID-19 in the country, "we are now facing its dangerous mutant variant," said Namaki.

The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported on Monday 3,864 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total nationwide infections to 671,801.

The ministry also reported 23 new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,295, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 2,236 to 620,745.

Ruba Falah, head of the ministry's media office, said in a press release that the epidemiological situation is unstable in the country with the recent increase of infections and deaths, especially after the detection of the new strain of the virus.

"The coming days will witness an increase in infections if citizens continue to ignore the seriousness of the virus and not adhere to health protective measures," she warned.

Israel's Ministry of Health reported 6,516 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, raising the total confirmed tally in the country to 754,481.

The death toll from the COVID-19 in Israel reached 5,593 after 30 new fatalities were added, while the number of patients in serious condition decreased from 858 to 801, out of 1,303 hospitalized patients.

The total recoveries in Israel rose to 709,196, with 11,522 newly recovered cases.

The number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Israel has surpassed 4.41 million, or 47.4 percent of the total population, since the vaccination campaign began on Dec. 20, 2020.

Morocco's COVID-19 tally rose to 481,263 on Monday as 108 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, the death toll mounted to 8,559 as five COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours.

The total number of recoveries from COVID-19 in Morocco increased to 465,297 after 633 new ones were added, while 423 people are in intensive care units, the statement said.

Meanwhile, 2,552,017 people have been vaccinated so far against COVID-19 in the country.

Saudi Arabia reported 327 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 375,333 in the country.

The death toll has reached 6,466 after five more deaths were registered. The total recoveries in the country reached 366,412 in the country.

The Qatari health ministry on Monday announced 463 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 160,889.

Meanwhile, 495 more people recovered from the virus, bringing the overall recoveries to 150,715, while the fatalities increased by one to 257.

The Omani health ministry on Monday announced 330 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 139,692.

Meanwhile, 195 people recovered during the past 24 hours, taking the overall recoveries to 130,848, while three deaths were reported, pushing the tally up to 1,555.

Lebanon registered on Monday 1,541 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number in the country to 356,597, the Health Ministry said. Meanwhile, the death toll from the virus went up by 47 to 4,387.

Lebanon started its vaccination campaign over a week ago, as health experts urge people to register for vaccination in a bid to protect against COVID-19. Enditem

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