Iraq reports 4,024 new COVID-19 cases, 661,477 in total

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BAGHDAD, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported Friday 4,024 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily record in 2021, bringing the total nationwide infections to 661,477.

It also reported 12 new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,232, while 1,802 cases recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 614,529.

A total of 6,470,846 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 48,990 done during the day.

Sayf al-Badr, spokesman of the ministry, said in a statement that after the end of the current curfew on March 8, the ministry would recommend imposing full curfew in case the infections continue to increase.

He said that the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, will decide whether to impose the full curfew depending on the epidemiological situation.

Al-Badr also said that the new strain of the virus has greater severity and speed of transmission and affects both youths and children, adding that "the vaccines that will arrive at the end of this month and the current treatment protocol are effective."

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 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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