Iraq reports 19 new coronavirus cases, 3 more deaths

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BAGHDAD, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed three more deaths from COVID-19 and 19 new cases, bringing the total number of the infected to 233.

The new cases included eight in the capital Baghdad, six in Sulaimaniyah, two in Najaf and one in the provinces of Karbala, Muthanna and Erbil, the ministry said in a statement.

So far, a total of 233 cases have been confirmed in the country, 20 of whom have died and 57 others have recovered, according to the ministry.

Earlier in the day, the Iraqi Health Minister Jaafar Sadiq Allawi, who heads the Iraqi crisis committee to contain COVID-19, said in a press conference that the crisis committee took several measures, one of which is to extend the curfew across the country until March 28 at 11:00 p.m. (2000 GMT).

The curfew excluded the security, service, and health institutions and diplomats, as well as authorized media, pharmacies, gas stations and the commercial movement of goods and food.

It also extended the suspension of the schools and universities, as well as the international flights from and to Iraq until March 28.

On March 15, the committee took several measures to contain the spread of the disease, including imposing a week-long curfew in Baghdad from March 17 to 23.

To help Iraq cope with the spread of the novel coronavirus, a Chinese team of seven experts arrived in Baghdad on March 7.

They are working with their Iraqi counterparts in the fight against the viral respiratory disease, which has largely been under control in China through a nationwide campaign since late January. Enditem

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