Iraq sets new daily record with 1,994 COVID-19 cases

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BAGHDAD, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Health Ministry reported on Tuesday 1,994 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily record in 2021, bringing the tally to 632,257.

The new cases included 673 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 262 in Najaf, 240 in Karbala, 142 Babil, and 128 in Basra, while the other cases were detected in other provinces, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also reported eight new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,134, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 977 to 602,018.

A total of 6,016,017 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 41,513 done during the day, according to the statement.

A member of the parliamentary health committee, Jawad al-Musawi, told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that the epidemiological situation in the country is under the control despite the recent daily increase of infections.

However, al-Musawi warned of further increase in daily COVID-19 infections that "may exceed 5,000 in the coming period if citizens continue non-compliance with health-protective measures, and if the government would not take appropriate restriction measures, especially in the crowded places."

While the health authorities are expected to issue new health instructions in the coming week, al-Musawi ruled out a partial curfew as long as the number of infections is under control.

The Iraqi Ministry of Health has frequently attributed the increase of COVID-19 infections to the public's failure to comply with health instructions.

China has been helping Iraq in its fight against the pandemic. On Feb. 4, the Chinese Embassy in Iraq said the Chinese government donated 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Iraq.

Earlier, the Iraqi health ministry said the Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs had 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 three batches of medical aid to Iraq. Enditem

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