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Coronavirus Victimizes Both Rich and Poor Across Mideast

The new coronavirus is continuing its spread across some of the most vulnerable nations of the Middle East. The International Monetary Fund warns that a lack of medical supplies in Iraq, Sudan, and Yemen could lead to a dangerous surge in prices. The worst outbreak in the Mideast is unfolding in Iran with the number of deaths mounting daily. This week, the Islamic Republic imposed a closure on major shopping malls and centers across the country to further prevent the spreading of the virus. While most recover from the COVID-19 illness, bottoming crude oil prices have put additional strain on even the wealthiest countries of the region.  

In Egypt, tourist cancellations have reached 80%, while retail and hospitality sectors have also been hard-hit in countries like the United Arab Emirates where tourism is a pillar of the economy, according to the IMF. The arrival of the global pandemic in Syria, as well as two cases in the Gaza Strip, has raised concerns the virus could run rampant in some of the most vulnerable areas in the Middle East. Lines have formed outside grocery stores, banks and gas stations across the Syrian capital, Damascus, as people brace for wider closures. The government has already shut down restaurants, cafes, and other businesses, and has halted public transportation. This week, in Jordan, authorities have begun distributing food packages to civilians under lockdown because of the Corona crisis. (VFI News/ABC)

Please continue to pray for the swift development of a coronavirus vaccine in Israel - or in other nations such as the USA - where scientists are working day and night to find ways to combat this disease. Intercede also for the full recovery of those who have been infected and for effective measures to slow the spread of the virus.