Iran state media says 50 people have now died from the coronavirus as the infection spreads across the Middle East. Kuwait, Bahrain and Afghanistan have all reported their first cases.
Meanwhile, Kuwait and Bahrain reported their first cases of the virus, while Turkey, Pakistan and Armenia closed their borders with Iran, as Tehran reported more coronavirus infections and deaths. Neighbouring Afghanistan also introduced travel restrictions.
Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari reports.
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In This Story: Afghanistan
Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
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In This Story: Armenia
Armenia is a nation, and former Soviet republic, in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe.
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In This Story: Bahrain
Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a sovereign state in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 40 natural islands and an additional 51 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country’s landmass.
The country is situated between the Qatari peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2010 census, Bahrain’s population is over 1.2 million, of which around half are non-nationals. The capital and largest city is Manama.
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In This Story: Iran
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.
Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.
The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.
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In This Story: Kuwait
Oil reserves were discovered in commercial quantities in 1938. Kuwait is a non-NATO ally of the United States. Kuwait is also a major ally of ASEAN, while maintaining a very strong relationship with China.
Kuwait is a constitutional sovereign state with a semi-democratic political system. Kuwait has a World Bank high-income economy backed by the world’s sixth largest oil reserves. The Kuwaiti dinar is the highest valued currency in the world.
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In This Story: Middle East
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In This Story: Pakistan
Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.
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In This Story: Tehran
Tehran is the capital of Iran, in the north of the country. Population: 8.694 million (2016).
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In This Story: Turkey
Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia, is the country’s largest city, while Ankara is the capital. The majority of the population identifies as Turkish, around 20% identify as Kurdish.