Iraq reports 4,901 new Covid-19 cases, 763,085 in total

The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported on Monday 4,901 new Covid-19 cases, raising Iraq’s total nationwide infections to 763,085.

The new cases included 2,150 in the capital Baghdad, 626 in Basra, 479 in Najaf, 231 in Maysan, and 205 in Qadisiyah, the ministry said in a statement.

It also reported 37 new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,788, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 4,850 to 690,620.

A total of 7,419,942 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 33,485 done during the day, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that the coronavirus infections have increased more dramatically than a year ago, especially with the spread of the new strain of the virus.

According to al-Tamimi, the citizens’ failure to follow health instructions has contributed to the increase of infections.

Nevertheless, the health minister noted the death rate of the pandemic has decreased to 1.8 percent from 17 percent last year.

He attributed the low death rate to the “remarkable and important development in the infrastructure of the Ministry of Health and its health institutions, as well as the better training of the medical staff.”

Iraq has taken a series of measures to curb the recent rise in Covid-19 infections after the health ministry announced on February 15 the detection of a new strain characterized by faster transmission and a higher level of severity.

On March 2, Iraq received a shipment of Covid-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to help combat the pandemic.

The Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs has approved the emergency use of China’s Sinopharm vaccines.