Iraq detects infections with new coronavirus variant

Baghdad, Feb 16 : Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi said that the ministry detected cases of a new strain of coronavirus, while the ministry reported 2,798 new coronavirus cases in the country.

"Unfortunately, laboratory tests in the Central Laboratory of Public Health in Baghdad showed the emergence of the mutated coronavirus in Iraq," al-Tamimi said in a press conference on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new strain of coronavirus is characterized by faster transmission, "which requires everyone to adhere to the health-protective measures and instructions of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety to prevent the spread of the virus," al-Tamimi said.

Al-Tamimi said that the ministry has recorded several infections with the new strain of coronavirus among children.

Also in the day, the ministry reported 2,798 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily record in 2021, bringing the tally to 646,650.

The ministry also reported six new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,185.

It said that 1,119 cases recovered during the day, bringing the total recoveries to 608,178.

A total of 6,278,144 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 47,129 done during the day, according to the statement.

Iraq has taken a series of measures to curb the pandemic since the first coronavirus case appeared in the country.

China has been helping Iraq in its fight against the pandemic.

On February 4, the Chinese Embassy in Iraq said the Chinese government donated 50,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Iraq.

Earlier, the Iraqi Health Ministry said the Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs had approved the emergency use of China's Sinopharm and Britain's AstraZeneca vaccines to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

From March 7 to April 26 in 2020, a Chinese team of seven medical experts spent 50 days in Iraq to help fight the disease, during which they helped build a PCR lab and install an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq.



Source: IANS