The Middle East Is Shutting Down as Coronavirus Spreads

(Washington Post) Liz Sly - The Middle East is shutting down as the coronavirus accelerates its spread. Prayers are being canceled, bars and cafes closed, flights grounded, and festivals and pilgrimages called off. The al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the Shiite Muslim shrine in Karbala, Iraq, have been closed. The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency, Lebanon began a two-week lockdown, Saudi Arabia ordered government offices and businesses to close, and Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq are sealing their borders. Only Egypt has yet to take any significant steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus, despite mounting evidence that it could be the origin of dozens of infections. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that 60 infections had been found in 15 states linked to Nile cruises.

2020-03-18 00:00:00

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