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Iraq’s COVID-19 cases exceed 8,000 as daily increase hits new record

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Iraq’s Health Ministry on Wednesday said that the total number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 8,168 after setting a new record of daily increase with 781 infections.

The new cases included 437 in the capital Baghdad, 52 in Duhok, 46 in Sulaimaniyah, 41 in Basra, 35 in each Maysan and Kirkuk, 33 in Babil, 28 in Dhi Qar, 19 in Najaf, 18 in Muthanna, 11 in Karbala, eight in Diyala, seven in Diwaniyah, six in Erbil and five in Anbar, the ministry said in a statement.

It also said that 21 people died from the coronavirus during the day, in the highest single-day rise, bringing the death toll in the country to 256, while 4,095 patients have recovered.

The new cases were recorded after 8,585 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 260,299 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi predicted in a statement that the latest increase of daily infections of the disease will continue between 600 to 800 in the upcoming days.

Al-Tamimi attributed the current high number of infections to “the increase of test capacity and to the lack of awareness among the citizens,” according to the 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.  

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