Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Iraq warns of downplaying risks of COVID-19 as total infections exceed 140,000

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An Iraqi health official on Thursday warned of downplaying the risks of COVID-19, as the Health Ministry said the total nationwide infections climbed to 140,603.

"We call on the citizens to abide by the preventive measures and not to downplay the risk of the coronavirus because applying these measures would decrease the infections and the deaths," Riyadh Abdul-Amir, head of the ministry's public health department, said in a press release.

"The epidemiological situation is still unstable and we cannot predict the future," he added.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported 3,047 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 140,603.

The new cases included 659 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 290 in Najaf, 273 in Basra, 244 in Karbala, 218 in Erbil, and 211 in Kirkuk, the ministry said in a statement.

It also reported 67 fatalities during the day, raising the total number of deaths to 5,161.

The ministry said that 2,583 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 101,025.

The new cases were recorded after 16,591 testing kits were used across the country during the day, and a total of 1,092,741 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

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

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the pandemic.

On July 26, Iraq's Higher Committee for Health and National Safety decided to extend the weekly full curfew from July 30 to Aug. 9.
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