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Iraq reports 87 new COVID-19 cases, 3,964 in total

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The Iraqi Health Ministry on Friday recorded 87 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 3,964 in the country.

Among the new cases, 48 were recorded in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the ministry said in a statement.

Seven of the infected people died during the day in Baghdad hospitals, bringing the death toll to 147, while 2,483 have recovered so far.

A total of 175,830 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease in the country, according to the statement.

Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi said at a press release that the health authorities believe that there is a possibility to return to normal life and to reopen government institutions, schools and universities, while taking necessary health protection measures.

On May 18, al-Tamimi said at a press release that the health authorities decided to impose a curfew on six districts in Baghdad for two weeks to curb the latest increase in COVID-19 cases.

The curfew started on Wednesday in the districts of Sadr City, Habibiyah, Kamaliyah, Hurriyah, Shula and Ameriyah, al-Tamimi said.

Since the outbreak of the disease, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

On May 10, the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, decided to partially lift the curfew, while full curfew will continue for Friday and Saturday in addition to the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in late May.

Eid al-Fitr is the festival of breaking the fasting after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help combatting the coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

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Iraq confirms 260 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

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Iraqi Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed 10 more deaths from COVID-19 and 260 new cases, as the total number of infections climbed to 6,439.

The new cases included 95 in the capital Baghdad, 31 in Maysan, 26 in Babil, 24 in each Sulaimaniyah and Basra, 21 in Muthanna, nine in Diwaniyah, seven in each Wasit, Najaf and Kirkuk, four in Duhok, two in each Diyala and Dhi Qar and one in Anbar, the ministry said in a statement.

Ten of the infected people died during the day, five of them in Baghdad’s hospitals and two in Maysan and one in each Kirkuk, Diyala and Sulaimaniyah, bringing the death toll in the country to 205, while 3,156 have recovered so far, the statement said.

The latest cases were recorded after 5,381 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 227,756 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Sayf al-Badr, the spokesman of the Health Ministry said in a statement that the current increase of the infections of the disease is within the capability and the capacity of the ministry.

“The latest increase of the coronavirus cases is a natural result for the increase of test capacity, as the number of laboratories has increased to more than 20 across the country,” al-Badr said.

The ministry’s strategy also includes searching for the infected people in their homes, as a large number of cases were detected in the neighborhoods, he said.

The latest COVID-19 infections came a day after the Iraqi authorities imposed a week-long curfew starting from May 31 to June 6 after a meeting of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

The committee ordered the security forces to tighten the control of the implementation of the health restrictions through preventing all forms of gatherings that contribute to the spread of the virus.

Since the outbreak of the disease, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic, through enhancing Iraq’s capability of containing the spread of the contagious disease.

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 an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

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

(XINHUA)

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Iraq imposes week-long curfew to contain spread of coronavirus

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The Iraqi authorities Saturday imposed a week-long curfew to curb the latest increase in infections of coronavirus in the country, the Iraqi government said.

The decision was made after a meeting by the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, which took several measures, including imposing “full curfew in Baghdad and the Iraqi provinces for a week starting from May 31 to June 6,” al-Kadhimi’s media office said in a statement.

The committee ordered the security forces to tighten the control of the implementation of the health restrictions through preventing all forms of gatherings that contribute to the spread of the virus, the statement said.

The restrictions included preventing the people from moving without masks outside their homes, and ordering the traffic police to detain any vehicle that carries more than 50 percent of its capacity and that all occupants should wear masks, it added.

The committee also allowed food shops and bakeries to open their doors, provided that no more than five persons wearing masks allowed inside, otherwise to be closed, the statement said.

The latest restriction measure came as the Iraqi Health Ministry said in a statement that the total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 6,179 since the outbreak of the disease in the country.

Ten of the infected people died during the day, bringing the death toll in the country to 195, while 3,110 have recovered so far, the statement said.

It also said that 12 health workers were infected during the day.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic, through enhancing Iraq’s capability of containing the spread of the contagious disease.

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 an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

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

(XINHUA)

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Turkey kills at least 7 YPG, PKK members in Syria and Iraq: ministry

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Turkish security forces killed five members of the Syrian Kurdish People‘s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, and two members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, Turkey‘s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

Two PKK terrorists have been neutralized in Avasin region in an airstrike after they were determined by means of reconnaissance and surveillance. Our operations continue until the last terrorist is neutralized,” said the ministry in its Twitter account.

Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralize” in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

In a separate statement, the Defense Ministry also said that the Turkish commandos “neutralized” five members of the YPG in northern Syria as they were trying to “infiltrate into the region of Peace Spring aiming to destroy peace and security environment.”

Turkish security forces have long been conducting operations against the PKK in southeastern Turkey and in northern Iraq where the group has hideouts. These operations are intensified in the past few months. PKK members often use northern Iraq to launch cross-border attacks in Turkey.

Turkey sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the PKK. The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria in order to create a YPG-free zone along its border within the neighboring country.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.

(XINHUA)

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2 Iraqi Kurds killed in Turkish airstrike in northern Iraq

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Two Iraqi Kurds from the same family were killed on Saturday in a Turkish airstrike in a border area inside the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, a local official said.

The Turkish aircraft in the morning bombarded a village in Deralok district in the northern part of Duhok Province and killed two family members and wounded another person in the village, Sami Oshana, head of the district’s administration, said in a statement.

Turkish forces frequently carry out ground operations, airstrikes and artillery bombardments against the positions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq, especially the Qandil Mountains, the main base of the PKK.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

(XINHUA)

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UN Security Council extends mandates of missions in Somalia, Iraq, Darfur

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The Security Council on Friday adopted resolutions to renew the mandates of peacekeeping or political missions in Somalia, Iraq and Sudan‘s Darfur, and to extend sanctions against South Sudan.

Resolution 2520 authorizes African Union member states to maintain, till Feb. 28, 2021, the current level of 19,626 uniformed personnel, including a minimum of 1,040 police personnel, for the African Union Mission in Somalia, to support security preparations for elections due at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021, and to conduct tasks in line with an updated Somali-led transition plan and the handover of security to Somali security forces.

Resolution 2521 decides to renew for a year, till May 31, 2021, an arms embargo on South Sudan, and a travel ban and asset freeze against individuals. The Security Council decides to carry out a midterm review of the measures no later than Dec. 15, 2020, and expresses its readiness to consider adjusting the measures to respond to the situation.

Resolution 2522 decides to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq till May 31, 2021.

Resolution 2523 decides that the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) shall maintain its current troop and police ceilings till June 3, 2020, and that during this period UNAMID shall maintain all team sites for mandate implementation.

The Security Council expresses its intention to decide by June 3, 2020, courses of action regarding the responsible drawdown and exit of UNAMID, and further expresses its intention to adopt a new resolution at the same time, establishing a follow-on presence to UNAMID.

(XINHUA)

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Iraq records highest daily new COVID-19 cases of 416

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The Iraqi Health Ministry on Friday said that the daily increase of COVID-19 cases in the country jumped to 416, the highest so far, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 5,873.

The new cases included 265 in the capital Baghdad, 31 in Dhi Qar, 28 in Karbala, 22 in Sulaimaniyah, 16 in Babil, 15 in Basra, 13 in Diyala, seven in Wasit, five in Najaf, four in Maysan, three each in Kirkuk and Muthanna, two in Salahudin and one each in Diwaniyah and Nineveh, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement also reported six more deaths during the day, five of them in Baghdad’s hospitals and one in Basra, bringing the death toll in the country to 185, while 3,044 have recovered so far.

The new cases were recorded after 5,246 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 216,731 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic, through enhancing Iraq’s capability of containing the spread of the contagious disease.

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 an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

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

(XINHUA)

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Iraq’s new COVID-19 cases rise by record 322

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The Iraqi Health Ministry on Thursday said that the daily increase of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 322, a record high so far, bringing the total number of infections to 5,457.

The new cases included 224 in the capital Baghdad, 22 in Karbala, 21 in Erbil, 16 in Sulaimaniyah, 11 in Babil, six in Wasit, five Muthanna, four in Dhi Qar, three in each Basra and Maysan, two in each Najaf, Diwaniyah and Salahudin and one in Kirkuk, the ministry said in a statement.

Four of the infected people died during the day in Baghdad’s hospitals, bringing the death toll in the country to 179, while 2,971 have recovered so far, the statement said.

The new cases were recorded after 5,104 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 211,485 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi said in a statement that the health situation in the country is under control and the recent sharp increase in the number of the detected COVID-19 cases is because of the increasing number of test kits used across the country.

He also said that seven fast-built hospitals dedicated to treating people infected with coronavirus will be ready to work next week, one of them with 66 beds in Baghdad, and the others are 50-bed hospitals; two in Muthanna, one in Diwaniyah and three in Diyala.

Since the outbreak of the disease, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic, through enhancing Iraq’s capability of containing the spread of the contagious disease.

From March 16 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 an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

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

(XINHUA)

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Turkey kills 3 PKK members in northern Iraq

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Turkish military has killed three members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the Turkish defense ministry said on Thursday.

“Our operations against the terrorist organization PKK continue resolutely. Three PKK terrorists, identified through reconnaissance and surveillance, in the Hakurk region in the northern part of Iraq, were neutralized by an air operation,” the ministry said in a written statement.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Turkish security forces have long been conducting operations against the PKK in southeastern Turkey and in northern Iraq where the group has hideouts. These operations are intensified in the past few months. PKK members often use northern Iraq to plan cross-border attacks in Turkey.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.

(XINHUA)

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Iraq’s COVID-19 cases exceed 5,000

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Iraqi Health Ministry on Wednesday said that a total of 5,135 COVID-19 cases were confirmed since the outbreak of the disease in the country, of whom up to 175 have died.

A statement by the ministry said that 287 new cases were recorded nationwide during the past 24 hours and 257 of them were in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Six of the infected people died during the day in Baghdad’s hospitals, bringing the death toll in the country to 175, while 2,904 have recovered so far, the statement said.

The new cases were recorded after 7,014 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 206,381 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

The latest total COVID-19 cases of 5,135 and the daily increase of infections in the Iraqi capital pushed Baghdad provincial governor, Mohammed Jaber al-Atta, to warn that coronavirus could spread all over the city.

“The cases of coronavirus pandemic are in all over Baghdad, as there is no specific area in the city that could be far from the risk of the disease,” al-Atta said in a statement.

Depite the repeated warnings, there are people still visiting each other and there is a lack of compliance by some citizens with the health restrictions, which advise them to avoid gatherings and keep social distancing, al-Atta added.

Since the outbreak of the disease, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help its battle against the coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

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