Iraq sees case surge in possible 5th COVID-19 wave

BAGHDAD, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi health ministry on Friday warned of the possible fifth wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country with daily cases exceeding 1,000, Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

"The daily positivity rate is increasing very quickly, as it was 6 percent two days ago and became 14 percent today. A week ago it was 3 percent," Riyadh Abdul-Amir, head of the ministry's Public Health Department, told the INA.

"The dangerous hike hints at the coming of the fifth wave that may be severe," Abdul-Amir said, attributing the increase in infections mainly to people's negligence in taking vaccines.

"The ministry has not yet recorded any case of serious complications from COVID-19 among the vaccinated people," he added, noting about 11 million people were vaccinated against COVID-19 across Iraq.

Iraq, with a population of over 40 million, reported 1,328 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, raising the nationwide caseload to 2,336,764. The daily case number was below 400 one week ago.

The Chinese government has sent several batches of medical aid to Iraq and donated four shipments of Sinopharm vaccines to help fight the pandemic.

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