Iraq reports 57 new COVID-19 cases, 3,611 in total


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BAGHDAD, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Health Ministry on Tuesday recorded 57 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 3,611 in the country.

The new cases were 51 in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, four in Basra and one in each Najaf and Sulaimaniyah, the ministry said in a statement.

So far, up to 131 people have died from the disease in Iraq, while 2,366 have recovered, it added.

Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee, tasked to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq, warned of losing control of the disease in Iraq after the health ministry announced sharp increase in numbers of infections in the past few days in Baghdad.

"The latest increase in the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the past few days in Baghdad is a dangerous signal that might lead to the country to serious health crisis," Abbas Eleiwy, member of the committee, said in a press release.

"Hospitals designated for quarantine in Baghdad were filled with people infected with coronavirus and unable to absorb additional numbers," Eleiwy said, calling on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to impose a full curfew and tighten security measures to follow up the compliance of the citizens with the health instructions.

The parliamentary committee's comment came a day after the Iraqi Health Ministry reported 150 cases of COVID-19, which was the highest daily increase since the outbreak of the disease in the country.

On Monday, the Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi said at a press release that the health authorities decided to impose curfew on six districts in Baghdad for two weeks to curb the latest increase in COVID-19 cases.

The curfew will start on Wednesday in the districts of Sadr City, Habibiyah, Kamaliyah, Hurriyah, Shula and Ameriyah, al-Tamimi said.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help combatting the coronavirus. Enditem