Iraq reports 1,855 new COVID-19 cases, 560,622 in total

BAGHDAD, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Health Ministry reported on Friday 1,855 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 560,622.

It also reported 26 new deaths and 1,909 more recovered cases in the country, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 12,387 and the total recoveries to 489,772.

A total of 3,609,466 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February, with 32,874 done during the day, according to a ministry statement.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi noted in a press release that the recovery rate from coronavirus reached 87 percent and the death rate was about 2.2 percent, while the test capacity for the disease exceeded 30,000 tests per day.

"The ministry has sought to improve the infrastructure in a short period by providing medicines and medical supplies as well as increasing the hospitals' capacity and intensive care beds," said al-Tamimi.

On the COVID-19 vaccine, al-Tamimi said important talks are underway with Pfizer/BioNTech to advance the date of its vaccine supply, adding AstraZeneca confirmed its readiness to supply Iraq with its vaccine within one or two months.

"Iraq wants to obtain the largest quantity of any vaccine guaranteed by international approvals for more than 20 percent of its population, or about 8 million people," al-Tamimi noted.

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

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Since March 7, China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq.

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