On Thursday, Iraq reported 2, 437 new coronavirus infections, recording the highest daily rise of cases so far according to the health ministry.
In a statement, the ministry added that 107 other coronavirus patients have also lost their lives across Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 1,437.
The total number of people so far diagnosed with coronavirus in Iraq has now risen to over 39,000 — of whom about half have recovered.
Iraq had so far considered itself spared as the virus spread in other regional countries, including in neighbouring Iran where more than 10,000 have died.
But the Iraqi health sector has been worn down by years of war and poor investment and appears to be collapsing under the strain of the virus.
Doctors in coronavirus wards have complained of a lack of personal protective equipment, and say they have been made to keep working even if they showed symptoms of infection.
Tests are also still not widely available, with authorities conducting fewer than a half-million tests in March in a country of 40 million people.
Iraq and coronavirus
Ryadh Abdul-Amir, head of the Public Health Department, said in a statement that the ministry is working on a plan to increase the capacity of testing to detect more infected cases.
“The Health Ministry managed to increase the daily test capacity from about 1,000 to 13,000 as the ministry has established more than 20 labs in Baghdad and other provinces,” Abdul-Amir said.
Several Arab countries have tightened restrictions on movement, and travel with the aim of curbing the spread of the virus.
Trillions of dollars have been pledged in economic stimulus packages around the world to reduce the economic repercussions of the crisis.
Globally, it is worth mentioning that, more cases of the virus, which causes respiratory disease coronavirus, continue to emerge, with outbreaks in South Korea, Italy, and Iran.
People across the globe partake in self-isolation for 14 days as an effective precautionary measure to protect those around them and themselves from contracting COVID-19.
Transmission of virus between humans happens when someone comes into contact with an infected person’s secretions, such as droplets in a cough.
It can also be transmitted by coming into contact with something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
-Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty as washing hands with soap and water eliminates the virus if it is on the hands.
-When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water to prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you can pass the virus to other people that you have contact with.
-Eat fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C so that your immune system could be enhanced for better and be able to confront viruses.
-Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth as hands touch many surfaces, which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, the virus from the surface may infect you.
Accordingly, you need to keep surrounding surfaces clean and free of coronavirus.
Make sure to keep all surrounding surfaces clean, even those that don’t usually cross minds like: keyboards, phone receivers, doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls.