Virus sets Iran record again - this time infections

A woman wearing a protective face mask to help prevent spread of the coronavirus has her temperature checked as she enters a shopping center, in Tehran, Iran. (File/AP)
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Updated 29 October 2020

Virus sets Iran record again - this time infections

  • The latest figure of 8,293 cases of infection in a 24-hour period far exceeds the previous highest number registered
  • The virus has also claimed another 399 lives in the Middle East's worst-hit country

TEHRAN: Coronavirus infections in Iran have set a daily record of more than 8,000 new cases, official figures showed Thursday, after two straight days of record deaths from the pandemic.
The latest figure of 8,293 cases of infection in a 24-hour period far exceeds the previous highest number registered only two days earlier of 6,968 people who tested positive.
The virus has also claimed another 399 lives in the Middle East's worst-hit country, the health ministry announced, raising the total number of victims to 34,113.
On Wednesday, Iran reported a record death toll of 415 over a 24-hour period, 69 more than Tuesday's toll which was also a daily record.
President Hassan Rouhani warned last week that his country faces "a larger wave of this virus and we have to fight it".
Figures have kept rising since September.
In the eight months since the first cases surfaced in Iran, a total of 596,941 infections from Covid-19 have been confirmed.
 


Egypt seeks to free citizens kidnapped by pirates off Nigerian coast

Updated 03 December 2020

Egypt seeks to free citizens kidnapped by pirates off Nigerian coast

  • Maria Samir, Samir’s sister, said her brother was last contacted as he was about to move from Nigeria to Cameroon

CAIRO: Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said it was coordinating with Nigerian authorities to free two of its citizens after they were kidnapped by pirates.

According to media reports, Saad Shawky and Kyrolos Samir were taken while they were on board a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria’s southernmost state of Bayelsa.

There are also three Lebanese, four Indians and a Cameroonian in the crew.

The ministry said it had contacted the Egyptian consulate in Abuja about the circumstances and with the latest updates, and that instructions had been issued “to communicate with all officials at the highest level to follow up on ensuring the safety of kidnapped Egyptians.”

Egyptian media reported the two men were on board a Lebanese cargo ship called “Milan-1” that was heading from Nigeria to Cameroon. They also said the ship was owned by a Lebanese national, Adnan El-Kot.

El-Kot said in statements that he had rented the ship to a man called Tavo Lawrence and that the vessel was raising the flag of Saint Kitts. He learned about the kidnapping last Thursday, receiving a call from a Thuraya mobile phone from the pirates who demanded a $1.5 million ransom to release the ship.

The ransom dropped to $300,000, and El-Kot explained that he had told the kidnappers that the ship had been rented to another person living in Nigeria after he made sure all the ship crew were safe.

Maria Samir, Samir’s sister, said her brother was last contacted as he was about to move from Nigeria to Cameroon.

She said in an interview that contact with him was lost a few hours after he moved from Nigeria, adding that it naturally happened due to being in the open seas. She was following up the ship’s route through an app that revealed the vessel had stopped in the middle of the sea and did not move.

She said her brother graduated from university a year ago and that it was his first job for six months. She added he was working on a ship on the Red Sea route and moved to work on board “Milan-1.”

Sherouk Shawky, who is Shawky’s sister, said: “My brother and his colleague Kyrolos Samir have been working together onboard the ship for two years and a half.”

She said her brother left Nigeria en route to Cameroon and they had last contacted each other last Wednesday.

She added: “By Saturday, as he didn't contact us, we became extremely worried about him since the route from Nigeria to Cameroon is only two days. So we contacted Adnan El-Kot, the ship owner, who told us that pirates from Nigeria kidnapped the ship's 10-member crew, which includes officers, engineers and cooks. He said the pirates kidnapped 10 crew members and left one to inform Adnan of the kidnapping.”