Latest from the Middle East: Countries tighten restrictions

Across the Middle East, countries are continuing to tighten restrictions - and punish violators. Here's the latest:

  • Jordan, which indefinitely extended a round-the-clock curfew on Monday, is to begin distributing bread, water and fuel
  • Israel is expected to announce a curfew and tough penalties for violations, with people only allowed out to get food, medicine and other essential items
  • Syria's Kurdish Regional Government, in the north-east, says it will impose a two-week curfew from Thursday, warning of the risk of the coronavirus spreading through camps for internally displaced people as well as among prisoners, including thousands of Islamic State members and their families
  • In Iran - where 1,812 people have died from the virus, and more than 23,000 are infected - the authorities have announced an extension by at least another month to temporary leave already granted to some 85,000 prisoners. British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is among those who have been released
  • UAE authorities have called for all Emirati students abroad to return home within 48 hours, and for members of the public to stay at home apart from in exceptional circumstances
Worker disinfects a pharmacy in Amman, Jordan (21/03/20)

The Impact of coronavirus on the victims of chemical attacks in Iran

The pandemic and sanctions are threatening survivors of the Iran-Iraq war chemical attacks
Iran is facing one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the world. One group for whom there is particular concern are the tens of thousands of people, many of them are veterans, who were victims of chemical weapon attacks during the eight year long Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. They survived that, but more than three decades on, many are already in poor health with lung conditions caused by the chemical strikes all those years ago. Narges Bajoghli is an award-winning anthropologist and writer. She made a film about soldiers who survived the attacks called the Skin That Burns.

(Photo: Workers have been disinfecting streets in Tehran to try to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Credit: Reuters)