COVID-19: Iraq, again, reports over 3,000 daily infections
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's Ministry of Health and Environment announced on Thursday that it had recorded over 3,000 new cases of coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, raising the total infections to 140,603. The ministry also reported 67 new deaths over the same time period.
According to a ministry statement, of the 16,591 coronavirus tests that health workers conducted over the past day, 3,047 came back positive.
So far, 5,161 have died from the virus in the Middle Eastern nation.
Record numbers of cases
As numbers continue to soar, Iraq has been repeatedly breaking its records for daily national COVID-19 infections.
On Tuesday, Iraq became the Arab-majority nation with the overall highest deaths rates from the disease as it surpassed 5,000.
Egypt is the second highest Arab country in terms of fatalities that have recorded 4, 912 deaths so far, according to government-reported data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, which shows that the coronavirus has infected more than 18.9 million people worldwide and killed over 710,000. The actual figures could be dramatically higher due to insufficient testing capabilities or underreporting.
The start of the rise in Iraqi cases follows on the re-opening in mid-May of Iraq’s borders with Iran, the original epicenter of the disease in the Middle East.
Some Iraqi officials have increased the urgency of their public warnings characterizing the danger that Iraqis face from the number of recent outbreaks.
After a recent record was broken on Friday, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Hazem Al-Jumaili said that such numbers acted as an "alarm bell" among health professionals and that the public must take the pandemic more seriously.
"Citizens' commitment to preventive measures is the most important factor in reducing the number of infections," he said, arguing that the ongoing spike in cases is "the result of the citizen's failure to comply with health guidelines."
Editing by John J. Catherine