Iraq reports highest 429 daily new COVID-19 cases, 6,868 in total

The Iraqi health ministry on Monday reported 429 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest single-day increase so far, taking the number of infections in the country to 6,868.

The new cases included 172 in the capital Baghdad, 102 in Sulaimaniyah, 41 in Wasit, 38 in Maysan, 22 in Basra, 13 in Muthanna, 11 in Karbala, eight in Diwaniyah, six in Najaf and Nineveh each, four in Babil and Diyala each and two in Duhok, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement also reported 10 more deaths, seven of them in Baghdad’s hospitals and one in Anbar, Maysan and Sulaimaniyah each, bringing the death toll in the country to 215.

Iraq has so far carried out 238,251 tests for COVID-19 since the outbreak of the disease, after 10,495 testing kits were used during the past 24 hours, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi said in a separate statement that the health situation is under control, and the ministry is exerting every effort to curb the virus.

“The percentage of beds occupied in the hospitals across the country is five percent of their full capacity,” Tamimi said, noting the health system has the ability to absorb more COVID-19 cases.

“The ministry started to increase the number of beds in various provinces,” he added.

The Iraqi authorities imposed a week-long curfew from May 31 to June 6 after a meeting of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

The committee ordered the security forces to tighten the health restrictions through preventing all forms of gatherings that contribute to the spread of the virus.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic, through enhancing Iraq’s capability of containing the spread of the contagious disease.

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 an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

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