WHO warns of increase in COVID-19 infections in Iraq during Eid al-Adha holiday

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BAGHDAD, July 27 (Xinhua) — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned of an increase in COVID-19 infections during Eid al-Adha holiday in Iraq, while the Health Ministry reported 2,553 new COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Iraq is not yet out of the danger phase, and a wave of high infections is inevitable unless there is a commitment to preventive health measures and social distancing to limit the spread of the virus,” Wael Hatahit, head of the WHO’s emergency team in Iraq, said in an interview with the official al-Sabah newspaper.

Hatahit highlighted the need to focus on preventing social gatherings during the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday, which is expected to start on July 31, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported 2,553 COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours, bringing the total infections in the country to 112,585.

It also reported 96 fatalities during the day, raising the death toll to 4,458 in the country, while 1,927 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 77,144.

Earlier, the Health Ministry frequently attributed the increase of COVID-19 infections to the lack of public compliance to the health instructions and the stronger testing capacity with the increase of labs in Baghdad and other provinces.

On Sunday, the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by the Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, decided to extend the weekly full curfew from July 30 to Aug. 9, including the Eid al-Adha holiday.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 install an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

Since March 7, China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq. Enditem

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