The number of cases of COVID-19 in the Middle East surpassed 465,000 on Monday morning. The virus continues to spread throughout the region, with the highest numbers recorded in Turkey, which has 150,000 cases, and Iran, with 120,000. In addition, Saudi Arabia now tops 54,000 cases and Qatar has 32,604.The region was initially not badly affected by the pandemic. However, Iran became a hot spot in February and the virus spread from there to communities in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq and Lebanon. In addition, Turkey did not admit it had cases until March when the cases rapidly grew. Turkey surpassed Iran and has been a leader in the region. Turkey has performed worse than her neighbors in the Caucasus or Greece.The Gulf states, despite high levels of testing and a low death toll, also continue to see a spread. They have used lockdowns and other measures but the virus is spreading and it is not clear why or where. It may be spreading among migrant workers. The UAE recorded more than 30,000 total cases on Sunday, and Bahrain continues to record cases. Qatar is one of the worst hit. Most of these countries, with advanced healthcare for citizens, are keeping casualties low.Meanwhile, in war-hit Syria, Libya and Yemen, the numbers of cases cannot be trusted because the governments do not control the whole country and international organizations such as the UN and WHO refuse to help test people in other areas of the country.Yemen, Libya and Syria have been largely abandoned to suffer the pandemic without support or even knowing how many cases they have. By contrast the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon and Jordan have done a good job of keeping the virus in check, with more than 900 cases in Lebanon, more than 600 in Jordan and under 400 in the PA. Iraq, Egypt and several other countries have cracked down on media for reporting that their local numbers may be incorrect. This leads to questions about the totals provided to international media.