Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 100,000 as Virus Claims Another 36 Lives

Saudi health chiefs opened a temporary hospital in Jeddah and 31 new 24/7 walk-in clinics across the Kingdom on Sunday as the number of coronavirus cases passed 100,000, Arab News informs.

The hospital, at the Jeddah international Exhibition and Convention Center north of the city, will treat patients with mild symptoms. It has opened with 20 beds, and will have 500 when fully operational.

The clinics, open to anyone suffering COVID-19 symptoms, are in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, Al-Qassim, and Al-Ahsa. They operate round the clock and there is no need for an appointment.

The Kingdom reported 3,045 new virus cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 101,914. The death toll rose by 36, the highest daily fatality count since the outbreak began, and is now 721. Worldwide the virus has infected just over 7 million people and killed more than 400,000.

In Iran, the health ministry claimed a surge in new coronavirus infections was due to increased testing rather than the outbreak worsening. Authorities reported 2,364 new infections in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 171,789. The death toll rose by 72 to 8,281.

“The main reason for rising numbers is that we started identifying infected people with no or light symptoms,” said Mohammad-Mehdi Gouya, the health ministry’s head epidemiologist.

Iran has the most serious coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, after initially being slow to react to the threat. Clerics encouraged pilgrims to continue visiting shrines at Qom and Mashhad, and they spread the infection to other countries, mainly Iraq and Lebanon.

There is still skepticism both inside and outside Iran about the official infection figures, and most experts believe the real toll is much higher than reported.

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