RIYADH / BEIRUT
The death toll from coronavirus rose in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon on Sunday, as the Middle East struggles to contain the pandemic.
The Saudi Health Ministry said 40 people had died from COVID-19, while 989 people tested positive for the virus over the past 24 hours.
The kingdom’s toll now stands at 551 deaths and 182,493 infections.
It has barred international travelers from traveling to the country for Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage, due to the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the nationwide curfew was lifted on June 21.
In Lebanon, the Health Ministry confirmed one additional fatality from the disease, pushing the overall deaths to 34.
A further 21 cases were confirmed, taking the total infections in the country to 1,740, while the number of recoveries rose to 1,134 after 33 more patients regained health.
Besides coronavirus, the country grapples with one of the worst economic crisis, with the pound plummeting to record lows.
Since originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, the pandemic has claimed over 499,400 lives in 188 countries and regions, according to the latest figures by US-based Johns Hopkins University.
More than 10.1 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding five million.
The US, Brazil, Russia, and India are currently the worst-hit countries.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
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