COVID-19: Iraq breaks daily record with 1,554 new cases, 61 deaths
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Wednesday, the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment announced 61 deaths and more than 1,500 new cases of the coronavirus in the nation's highest daily toll yet of infections and deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic.
In a statement released to the press, the ministry indicated that out of 13,053 laboratory tests completed in the last 24 hours, 1,554 came back positive. The total tests conducted to date in Iraq have reached 403,388.
It continued, specifying that "the total number of infections rose to 24,254, the total number of recovery cases to 10,770, total active cases to 12,711, those in intensive care to 159, and the total deaths to 773."
The figures do not include today's developments in the autonomous Kurdistan Region, which has its own health ministry and typically announces results later in the day than the federal government in Baghdad. As such, Kurdistan's figures are usually added to the following day's national tally.
Yesterday, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) confirmed that it had registered 182 new infections and five new fatalities.
Also on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Baghdad criticized Iraqis who have been spreading rumors that the coronavirus is not real and is instead part of a large, global conspiracy.
"Unfortunately, some Iraqi citizens are lying about the fact that the coronavirus actually exists, and this is not true. The virus is real, not a lie, and everyone should believe it," Representative Adham Ismael said in a statement to local media.
Ismael also pointed out that the high rate of infections in Iraq, often exceeding one thousand per day, is due to “social gatherings, sports tournaments in the month of Ramadan and Eid, the continuation of concerts and consolation gatherings, lack of interest in preventive measures, and citizens' underestimating the coronavirus."
"The Iraqi government has done all that is possible and cannot allocate a policeman to every citizen to prevent him from roaming," he added, noting that "the citizen is the one who can protect himself and his family from the virus by adhering to the preventive measures and instructions issued by the government and the Ministry of Health."
Editing by John J. Catherine