Iraq sees highest single day coronavirus death toll so far with 53 fatalities: health ministry
Iraq’s health ministry announced the death of 53 coronavirus patients on Saturday, a record-high single-day death toll for the country since the outbreak first seeped across its borders in February.
The ministry’s statement also announced 1,180 new cases across the country, raising the number of cases recorded so far to 18,950.
Ministry data included the Kurdistan Region.
Baghdad province is continuing to bear the brunt of the pandemic, with 497 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths recorded in and around the Iraqi capital.
Nationwide, 647 people recovered from the virus, the health ministry added.
Iraq has now seen a total of 549 coronavirus-related deaths, and 10,886 active cases remain.
Cases of coronavirus have been surging in the country since the end of May, compelling the Iraqi government to re-impose measures restricting movement that seek to curb COVID-19’s spread.
The health ministry announced earlier on Saturday that it would impose a partial curfew beginning on Sunday, prohibiting all non-essential traffic from 6 pm to 5 am nationwide, with the exception of the Kurdistan Region.
Social, religious and tribal gathering are prohibited at all times of day, according to rules set for the new curfew.
“Toughest punishment will be levied on the violators,” reads a ministry statement.
Speaking to Rudaw on Saturday, a member of Iraq’s parliament warned of the particularly high risks the country’s health workers face in contracting the virus.
“The growing number of coronavirus infections in Iraq is abnormal. The situation gets worse day by day,” said Faris Brifkani, deputy head of Iraqi parliament’s health committee.
“What is more dangerous is the infection of health workers and physicians,” Brifkani said. To date, “more than 300 health workers have contracted the virus.”
Iraqi health ministry official Riaz Abdulamir warned that case numbers will continue to grow if the public fails to adhere to virus prevention instructions. Source