Iraq confirms 260 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

Iraqi Health Ministry 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 on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.

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 neighbourhoods, 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.