COVID-19 infections, deaths on the rise in Middle East: WHO

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Middle Eastern countries have seen a rise in coronavirus infections in the last six weeks because of low vaccination rates, officials at the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office said on Wednesday.

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Reported COVID-19 cases rose to a daily average of 110,000 in the past six weeks, while average daily deaths rose to 345 in the last three weeks, WHO regional director Ahmed Al-Mandhari said on Wednesday.

More than 35 percent of the region’s population is fully vaccinated. But one quarter of the countries have not yet reached 10 percent vaccination coverage, said Rana Hajjeh, director of program management.

The WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region comprises the Middle East, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti and Afghanistan, among others.

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