Iraq reports 4,306 new COVID-19 cases, 680,288 in total

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BAGHDAD, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported on Wednesday 4,306 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily record in 2021, raising the total nationwide number to 680,288.

The new cases included 1,424 in the capital Baghdad, 808 in Basra, 519 in Najaf, 340 in Karbala, and 202 in each Wasit and Dhi Qar, the ministry said in a statement.

It also reported 13 new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,324, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 2,110 to 625,447.

A total of 6,685,474 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 44,965 done during the day.

Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi said at a press conference marking the first anniversary of detecting the first case of COVID-19 in Iraq that the ministry has "finished all preparations to receive the vaccines that will arrive soon."

"We still suffer from a great challenge because of the new wave of coronavirus," al-Tamimi noted, referring to the infections of the coronavirus variant, including more than 300 children.

According to al-Tamimi, the recovery rate in Iraq exceeded 92 percent while the death rate reached 1.9 percent.

On Feb. 13, the Iraqi health authorities decided to impose a partial curfew for four days and a full curfew for three days every week during the period from Feb. 18 to March 8.

The partial curfew starts from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, while the full curfew is on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs has approved the emergency use of China's Sinopharm and Britain's AstraZeneca vaccines to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

From March 7 to April 26 in 2020, a Chinese team of seven medical experts spent 50 days in Iraq to help fight the disease, during which they helped build a PCR lab and install an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

China has also sent batches of medical aid to Iraq. Enditem

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