COVID-19: Iraq announces over 2,700 new infections, more than 70 fatalities
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's Ministry of Health and Environment On Tuesday announced over 2,700 new coronavirus cases, as well as 77 deaths from the disease.
The ministry reported that 16,922 tests for the virus had been carried out over the same period, raising the total of such tests to 946,761.
According to official data, about 81,062 patients have recovered from the disease—around 70.3 percent of the total number of patients.
Recoveries refer to a patient who no longer carries a detectable virus in their system, but it does not necessarily mean that they are well. A substantial number of those who catch the virus report lingering symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle weakness, even after they are officially declared "recovered."
The ministry's report also stated that there are 29,735 active cases, while there have been 4,535 fatalities.
Since July 1, Iraq has regularly reported over 2,000 new infections daily, and its death toll has nearly doubled.
The Iraqi government announced on Sunday that it would impose a total lockdown in advance of the long Eid al-Adha holiday. Such events have proven to spread the virus in Iraq, as well as the Kurdistan Region, as people gather together to celebrate the occasion—and then neglect the public health guidelines.
Iraq will impose "a nationwide curfew throughout the Eid Al-Adha holiday, from Thursday July 30 to Sunday August 9," the government stated.
Notably, it also added that potential extensions would be considered after the holidays—yet another indication that Baghdad may be in danger of losing control over the country's health situation.
Indeed, Iraqi health officials have expressed their fears that the healthcare system may be on the brink of collapse, as the number of daily infections has continued rising since late May, after Iraq opened some border crossings with Iran, the original epicenter of the virus in the Middle East.
On Friday, the General Secretariat of Iraq's Council of Ministers announced the arrival of mobile healthcare units and medical supplies from Qatar and Jordan.
Despite Iraq's's deteriorating health situation, on Thursday, three of the country's international airports reopened for commercial travel, as the government moved to ease restrictions that had limited the spread of the virus.
Related Article: PHOTOS: Iraqi airports reopen amid continued spike in infections
The Kurdistan Region has not yet opened its two airports, but authorities have said they plan to do so on August 1.
Editing by Khrush Najari