Iraq warns of new wave of COVID-19 pandemic

BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Ministry of Health on Monday warned of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country, while the ministry reported 1,537 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

A picture taken on September 16, 2021, shows a view of the Iraqi village of Al-Sahl in Wadi Houran, in the central Anbar governorate. (Photo: VCG)

"The emergence of new COVID-19 variants is threatening other countries, and we do not rule out the possibility of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country," according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Meanwhile, the ministry reported 1,537 new COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours, raising the nationwide caseload to 2,047,811.

A separate statement by the ministry also reported 32 new deaths, bringing the death toll from the virus to 22,993, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 2,588 to 1,989,166.

A total of 15,697,977 tests have been carried out in Iraq since the outbreak of the disease last year, with 21,068 done during the day, the statement said.

Iraq has been pushing forward its vaccination drive since the drug authority approved in January the emergency use of China's Sinopharm vaccine and other COVID-19 vaccines.

Since the early stage of the pandemic in 2020, the Chinese government has sent medical aid to Iraq and donated four shipments of Sinopharm vaccines to the country.