Iraq yet to hit COVID-19 pandemic peak: Official

Despite the overall coronavirus caseload increasing to 150,115, Iraq was yet to reach the peak of the pandemic, Deputy Minister of Health Hazim al-Jumaili said.

“Iraq has not yet reached the peak of infections, while the daily coronavirus cases are still coming in large numbers (sometimes) exceeding 3,000, and this indicates that the citizens are not abiding by the instructions of the Health Ministry and the High Committee for Health and National Safety,” al-Jumaili told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) on Sunday.

He said the Higher Committee for Health of National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, will hold a meeting at the end of the week to discuss the health restrictions during the upcoming month of Muharram, reports Xinhua news agency.

Muharram is one of the most important months for Muslims and marks the start of the Islamic New Year.

The Iraqi Health Ministry reported 2,726 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total nationwide infections to 150,115.

It also reported 82 fatalities during the day, raising the death toll to 5,392, while 2,271 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 107,775.

The new cases were recorded after 18,003 testing kits were used across the country during the day, and a total of 1,145,386 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease.

On Saturday, the Higher Committee decided to extend the partial curfew to August 15, while the full curfew continues on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The committee also decided to permit only 25 per cent of employees to work in government institutions.