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Iraq’s COVID-19 cases exceed 7,000 as daily increase hits new record

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Iraq’s Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the total number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 7,387 after setting a new record of daily increase with 519 infections.

The new cases included 350 in the capital Baghdad, 34 in Maysan, 31 in Karbala, 28 in Sulaimaniyah, 25 in Basra, 21 in Najaf, nine in Babil, eight in Muthanna, six in Duhok, five in Diyala, and one in each of Nineveh and Erbil, the ministry said in a statement.

It also said that 20 people died from the coronavirus during the day, in the highest single-day rise, bringing the death toll in the country to 235, while 3,508 patients have recovered.

The new cases were recorded after 13,463 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 251,714 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi reiterated his call on the citizens to cooperate with the health authorities through abiding by the measures of the full curfew to avoid catastrophic consequences.

“The ban of the people and vehicles movement as well as gatherings are not for security purposes, but rather to protect you and to prevent the spread of the disease, especially after the increase in the number of infections,” al-Tamimi said in a separate statement.

The Iraqi authorities imposed a week-long curfew 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 health restrictions through preventing all forms of gatherings that could lead to the spread of the virus.

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

From March 7 to April 26, 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 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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