Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

The Middle East before and after coronavirus — from crowds to ghost towns

Cities in the region, already hit by months of protests, look abandoned as efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus see residents stay inside

A man walks along the corniche in Beirut after the country's top security council and the government ordered a lockdown over the spread of coronavirus in Lebanon. AP Photo
A man walks along the corniche in Beirut after the country's top security council and the government ordered a lockdown over the spread of coronavirus in Lebanon. AP Photo

As coronavirus has spread across the globe and measures have been put in place to limit its impact, parts of the Middle East have gone into lockdown – cities that were once bustling hives of activity have become ghost towns.

Iraq and Lebanon, already in disarray due to months of protests, have been heavily affected due to their close ties with Iran, the worst hit country in the region.

Iraq — which has 125 confirmed cases — has implemented a week-long curfew, including the suspension of all flights from Baghdad’s international airport, while Lebanon is in full containment mode, with traffic thin and some streets completely empty on Monday, the start of the working week.

Restaurants, cafes and bars have been closed since last week and most private businesses were shuttered Monday. The small country has reported 99 cases and three deaths.

These before-and-after photos show how popular landmarks have been left abandoned.

Iraq

The Old Bridge over the Tigris, Mosul

The Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Karbala pool hall, Karbala

Erbil citadel, Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Lebanon

Beirut beach, Beirut

Corniche, Beirut

Sidon

Jordan

Amman Citadel

Egypt

Cairo University

Updated: March 17, 2020 11:01 AM

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