Iraq's total Covid-19 cases surpass 900,000


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The total number of Covid-19 cases in Iraq has surpassed 900,000 as the daily infections reached the highest level of 8,000 in recent days, threatening to run out of control.

A statement by the Iraqi Ministry of Health on Thursday reported 7,817 new Covid-19 cases during the past 24 hours, raising the total nationwide number to 903,439, Xinhua news agency reported.

It also said 34 new deaths were recorded during the day, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 14,606, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 4,883 to 799,327.

A total of 8,380,401 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 49,388 done during the day, the ministry said.

Despite the recent surge in infections, Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that the ministry's health institutions are so far in control of the epidemiological situation.

However, "what we are always afraid and warn of is that the rate of infections may outpace the capacity of the ministry's institutions, amid citizens' continuous non-compliance with the health protective measures," al-Tamimi was quoted by INA as saying.

"The rate of infections in recent days has increased from two percent to 18 percent of the total daily coronavirus tests," the minister noted.

Sayf al-Badr, spokesman of the health ministry, also warned in a press release of the recent dangerous epidemiological situation, saying "Iraq recorded unprecedented numbers during the past few days."

"Like any other health system in the world, the Iraqi health system has a limit in dealing with numbers of infections that occur at the same time," al-Badr added.

He called on citizens to adhere to health protective measures and urged the media to raise awareness campaigns for vaccination, noting all the vaccines that entered and will enter Iraq are safe, effective, and approved by the World Health Organization.

According to the ministry's statement, 8,657 people were vaccinated during the past 24 hours across the country, bringing the total number of doses received to 126,791.

Iraq has taken a series of measures to curb the recent rise in 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 the Sinopharm vaccines, in addition to AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sputnik V vaccines.

Source: IANS

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