Iraqi official warns of 'alarming' increase in COVID-19 cases

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 2, 2020
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An Iraqi health official on Saturday said that the recent increase of COVID-19 cases is an alarming sign as the Health Ministry reported 2,095 daily new infections in the country.

The Iraqi Deputy Health Minister Hazim al-Jumaili said in a statement that "the ministry has warned many times of the failure to comply with the health preventive measures that would lead to an increase in COVID-19 infections in the country."

Al-Jumaili called on the authorities to take strict procedures against the violators of the ministry's instructions and the health preventive measures.

Iraqi Health Ministry reported 2,095 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 126,704.

The new cases included 422 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 295 in Basra, 264 in Karbala, 195 in Erbil, and 143 in Wasit, the ministry said in a statement.

It also reported 64 fatalities during the day, raising the death toll to 4,805, while 1,841 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 89,275.

The new cases were recorded after 13,791 testing kits were used across the country during the day, and a total of 1,014,760 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

In a separate statement, the ministry said "it has noticed that most citizens are not abiding by the health preventive measures, through gatherings of families to exchange congratulations on the Eid al-Adha festival."

The ministry called upon the health authorities and crisis committees in the country's provinces to play their role and tighten the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus infections, the statement added.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the pandemic.

On July 26, Iraq's Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, decided to extend the weekly full curfew from July 30 to Aug. 9, including the Eid al-Adha holiday.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

From March 7 to April 26, a Chinese team of seven medical experts spent 50 days in Iraq to help contain the disease, during which they helped build a PCR lab and install an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

Since March 7, China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq. 

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