Kurdistan reports 31 new coronavirus cases; Iraq tops 6,000
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The number of daily coronavirus cases on Saturday continued to increase across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, with health authorities from the autonomous region reporting 31 new infections and national counterparts in Baghdad claiming 306, including ten deaths.
Close to 170 of the new Iraqi cases were recorded in Baghdad province, according to a federal health ministry statement detailing the latest coronavirus data from the previous 24 hours. Basra, another major hotspot for the disease in the country, reported 29 infections.
The ministry also said there had been a record ten deaths due to COVID-19, as the disease is formally referred to. The statement noted the total number of cases had risen to 6,179, including 195 deaths. It also said 36 people are now in intensive care units.
Over 5,600 tests were conducted over the 24-hour period, with the total carried out by health workers in provinces under Iraqi jurisdiction to more than 220,000.
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The Kurdistan Region health ministry, in its statement, said it had tested 1,491 individuals for the disease over the same period, a notable high compared to an average of close to 1,000 in previous days. Of the total, 31 samples came back positive.
The autonomous region now has 606 total infections since the highly-infectious disease first crossed into its borders, including 409 recoveries and six deaths, per official numbers. Active cases have also increased to 191, an upward trend that emerged in recent weeks following the easing of lockdown restrictions in late April by Iraqi and Kurdistan Region authorities.
Sulaimani, where a local health official warned on Friday that the situation might spiral out of control, currently has 121 cases. The city also recorded the region’s latest fatality, a 37-year-old man, seven members of whose family are now also confirmed to have the virus.
The ministry said in a separate statement on Saturday that the man had been put on a ventilator but nevertheless succumbed to his illness early in the day.
As various population centers reopened and more people became infected with the virus, top government officials in the Kurdistan Region reiterated calls on the public to adhere to health safety guidelines as outlined by relevant authorities.
Editing by John J. Catherine