The Middle East at war with coronavirus: Top stories from 28 April

The Middle East at war with coronavirus: Top stories from 28 April
4 min read
28 April, 2020
An Arab-Israeli doctor is leading the charge against coronavirus in the country, and sad news as Turkey police shoot Syrian refugee dead during curfew. Here's your coronavirus news.
Here's your week in coronavirus news [Getty]
Here are five stories you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting the Middle East on 28 April:

1. Devastating news as Turkey police shoot Syrian refugee dead during coronavirus curfew

Turkish police have shot dead a Syrian teenager in what authorities described as an "accidental" shooting after the young man allegedly failed to comply with coronavirus curfew restrictions.

Police in the southern city of Adana shot at Ali El Hamdan, who reports variously identify as being between 17- and 19-years-old, after the young man failed to comply with a police request to stop, local authorities claimed.

El Hamdan had been on his way to work despite the curfew and ran away from police officers who asked him to stop as he was scared of receiving a fine he could not afford, according to local media reports.

The young Syrian man was then shot in the heart, causing outrage across the country.

2. Arab doctor leads Israeli hospital's anti-coronavirus fight

Israeli Arab doctor Khitam Hussein is leading the charge as a frontline doctor in the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus.

Hussein, 44, has emerged as a prominent member of Israel's often marginalised Arab community which is now playing an essential role in confronting an unprecedented health crisis.

She heads the outbreak response at the Rambam Hospital near Haifa, the largest hospital in northern Israel, and has been working 12-hour days for months.

"It is incredibly difficult work, no day is like another," she told AFP.

"Our lives have been turned upside down."

Israel has registered more than 15,000 cases of COVID-19, with 202 deaths.

Read More: Coronavirus heightens mental health crisis in Lebanon's claustrophobic Palestinian refugee camps

3. Egypt extends state of emergency due to coronavirus

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Tuesday ordered the renewal for three months of a long-running state of emergency, citing health as well as security concerns.
Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April 2017 when twin church bombings claimed by an Islamic State group affiliate killed dozens of people.

"Given the serious health and security situation ... the state of emergency has been declared across the country for three months starting Tuesday, April 28," said a presidential decree published in the official gazette overnight.

The health ministry has so far recorded 4,782 Covid-19 cases in the population of 100 million.

Of those, 337 have died while 1,236 have recovered.

4. Turkey ships coronavirus aid to hard-hit US

Turkey will send hundreds of thousands of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks to the United States to aid in its efforts against the coronavirus pandemic, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

"At a time when even developed countries are asking for Turkey's support, we have offered our support to a wide geography, from the Balkans to Africa," Erdogan told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

A Turkish military plane will on Tuesday deliver medical aid including 500,000 surgical masks, 400 N95 masks, 4,000 overalls, 2,000 litres of disinfectant, 1,500 goggles and 500 face shields, the presidency said.

The shipments comes after a request by Washington, it added.

5. Leading Pakistani cleric receives intense backlash after blaming Covid-19 on women

A popular Pakistani cleric whose religious group has been blamed for spreading the coronavirus is facing ridicule after he suggested the pandemic was caused partly by the "immodesty" of women.

Maulana Tariq Jameel appeared on a telethon with Prime Minister Imran Khan last week, when he explained various Islamic religious codes and said humanity had been punished in the past for breaking these.

"Who has demolished modesty in my country? Who is making the nation's daughters dance? Who is shortening their dresses? Who should be held responsible?" Jameel said during the coronavirus fundraiser hosted by Khan.

The comment spurred an immediate backlash with leading activists and a government minister blasting the cleric, while social media users roasted the preacher for ignoring his own group's role in spreading the virus.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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