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Global Times

Iraq bans entry of foreign travelers as COVID-19 infections reach 319,035

Global Times

Source: Xinhua Published: 2020/9/21 11:06:48

The Iraqi Health Ministry on Sunday reported 3,438 new COVID-19 cases, as the health authorities banned the entry of foreign travelers into the country amid the appearance of new strains of the coronavirus in the neighboring countries.

The Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi said in a press conference that "the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety decided not to allow any foreigner to enter Iraq in the coming days, except for the diplomatic missions."

He said that the decision came "as a result of the increasing number of coronavirus infections in neighboring countries."

As for the preparations for the major Shiite ritual of Arbaeen, al-Tamimi said that "the ministry has prepared an integrated plan, in coordination with health institutions in all Iraqi provinces."

"We hope that there will be no increase in the number of coronavirus infections after Arbaeen," he added.

The minister's comments came as the Iraqi Health Ministry reported 3,438 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of infections in the country to 319,035.

The ministry also confirmed 64 new fatalities from the infectious disease, taking the death toll to 8,555, while 4,052 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 253,591.

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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