Iraq reports 3,332 new COVID-19 cases, 649,982 in total

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BAGHDAD, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported on Tuesday 3,332 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily record in 2021, bringing the total nationwide infections to 649,982.

The ministry also reported in a statement seven new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,192.

Meanwhile, 1,622 cases recovered during the day, bringing the total recoveries to 609,800.

A total of 6,321,995 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 43,851 done during the day, according to the statement.

Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesman of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, said in a joint press conference with other senior security officers that the security forces are committed to seriously implement the curfew measure as stated by the Iraqi health authorities.

Yehia Rasool, spokesman of the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi forces, said at the press conference that everyone should abide by the instructions of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, to control the spread of the virus.

“The curfew measure can be extended if the infections with coronavirus continue to increase,” Rasool added.

The press conference came three days after the higher committee decided to impose a partial curfew for four days and a full curfew for three days during the period from Feb. 18 to March 8.

Earlier, the Iraqi Health Ministry said the Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs had approved the emergency use of China’s Sinopharm and Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccines to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

From March 7 to April 26 in 2020, 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 install an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq. Enditem

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