Kurdistan Region ramps up daily testing for COVID-19

At the beginning of the month, Kurdish health authorities were conducting an average of 4,000 coronavirus tests per day.
author_image Kurdistan 24
A health care worker tests a suspected COVID-19 patient in the Kurdistan Region's Sulaimani province. (Photo: Shwan Mohamad/AFP)
A health care worker tests a suspected COVID-19 patient in the Kurdistan Region's Sulaimani province. (Photo: Shwan Mohamad/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Daily testing for COVID-19 infections has increased since health authorities detected the first cases of the new omicron variant in the Kurdistan Region in early January, according to the official tally. 

On Jan. 6, the Kurdistan Region Health Ministry announced that it had detected five confirmed cases of omicron from a family in the Duhok province. Since then, the autonomous region has witnessed a surge in daily infections. 

At the beginning of the month, Kurdish health authorities were conducting an average of 4,000 coronavirus tests per day. 

On Thursday, however, the health ministry conducted 7,164 tests according to the official tally, an increase of about 2,000. 

The increase comes as the number of infected people has dramatically increased. For example, on the day the first cases of the omicron variant were recorded, 321 people tested positive. On Thursday, however, that number jumped to 1,463 cases, according to official figures. 

Despite intensifying efforts to spread awareness, the Kurdistan Region’s health officials have authorized the administration of booster shots to citizens who have received two vaccine shots to control the rising infections.

Less than a million people have received two doses of one of the vaccine brands available in the region. Just over a million people have received their first jab. 

Anyone over 12-year-old is eligible to get vaccinated against the highly infectious disease. 

Since the pandemic began in early 2020, over 403,000 people have been infected by the contagion. Over 7,200 of them died.