Iraq’s health system teeters on brink as Covid infections spiral

Iraqi Deputy Health Minister Hazim al-Jumaili Friday warned of the collapse of the country’s health infrastructure if the infections continued to increase, while the Health Ministry reported 4,288 new COVID-19 cases.

Al-Jumaili made his comment in a press release when he told the Iraqi citizens who do not abide by the preventive health measures that the health sector infrastructure could not bear a further increase in coronavirus infections.

“The health institutions in Iraq is in trouble, so citizens must abide by the preventive health instructions,” al-Jumaili said.

“The Health Ministry and the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety have issued a lot of decisions and instructions aimed at preventing further spread of the virus, but unfortunately, we have not noticed compliance by the citizens,” al-Jumaili added.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported 4,288 COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours, bringing the total nationwide infections to 197,085.

It also reported 75 fatalities during the day, raising the death toll to 6,283, while 3,246 more patients recovered in the day, bringing the total number of recoveries to 140,446.

The new cases were recorded after 24,761 testing kits were used across the country during the day, and a total of 1,393,488 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

Iraq has been taking a series of measures to contain the pandemic since February when the first coronavirus case appeared in the country.

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 Iraq’s capital Baghdad.

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