COVID-19: Iraq’s total infections close to 530,000
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi health authorities on Thursday announced over 2,300 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, raising the total infections to 529,226 since the advent of the pandemic in the country.
The health ministry in a statement said that it had conducted 19,264 tests over the previous 24 hours, making for a total of nearly 3.2 million carried out since Iraq's first case in February.
According to the health ministry’s figures, the number of patients who have contracted the highly-contagious disease in Iraq so far has reached 529,226 in total, 11,834 of whom have died.
The infections began to gradually rise in Iraq about seven months ago when authorities relaxed restrictions imposed to prevent their spread. Now, the Middle Eastern nation records between two and five thousand infections per day. Officials have voiced fears that the health system could collapse, given that the country has limited health infrastructure due to decades of war, instability, and institutional corruption.
Today's infection and fatality figures reported by the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad do not include the most recent developments in the autonomous Kurdistan Region, which has its own health ministry and typically announces results later in the day. As such, Kurdistan's figures are usually added to the following day's national tally.
The coronavirus has infected more than 56 million people worldwide and killed over 1.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University’s database. The actual figures could be dramatically higher due to insufficient testing capabilities or underreporting.
Editing by John J. Catherine