New restrictions implemented as COVID-19 cases continue to rise
Published: Dec 08, 2021 05:18 PM Updated: Dec 08, 2021 05:18 PM
The number of deaths and new infections as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to climb in Middle Eastern countries, with governments like Lebanon imposing new travel restrictions for passengers in an effort to halt the pandemic's spread.

From December 15, passengers coming to Lebanon must register on a platform of the Ministry of Public Health, take a PCR test at a certified lab in the country of departure and upload the test result on the platform, the country's General Directorate of Aviation announced on Monday. It added that all passengers arriving in Lebanon, except for children and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) members, must take a PCR test upon arrival in Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.

The new travel rule was introduced after a surge in the daily number of infections in the country, which has registered 678,801 COVID-19 infections in total and 8,775 deaths.

Israel reported on Monday 10 new cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, raising the total tally to 21, said the Israeli Health Ministry.

According to the ministry, 16 of the infected are returning passengers from the United States, France, Britain, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, while the five others were infected in Israel through close contact with passengers returning from South Africa and the United States.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Jordan stands at 26, while new infections reach 5,811 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 981,767. The new fatalities raised the country's COVID-19 death toll to 11,787, according to the Jordanian Ministry of Health.

In Turkey, a country with a population of 84 million people, more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 8,921,150. The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 187 to 78,017, while 25,611 more people recovered in the last 24 hours.

More Turks are receiving vaccines after a mass COVID-19 vaccination launched on January 14 this year, since the country approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. More than 56 million Turks have had their first doses of vaccines, while about 51 million have received their second doses. The country has so far administered 121.04 million doses including the booster jabs.

In Iran, 3,356 new COVID-19 cases were registered on Monday, taking the country's total infections to 6,137,821. According to the Iranian health ministry's latest daily briefing, the pandemic has claimed 130,277 lives in the country so far.