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Iraq reports 778 new COVID-19 cases, 612,870 in total

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BAGHDAD, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) — The Iraqi Health Ministry reported on Saturday 778 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide number to 612,870.

The new cases included 299 in the capital Baghdad, 113 in Kirkuk, 96 in Karbala, and 44 in Diyala, the Ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry also reported four new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 12,988, and 1,546 more recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 579,838.

A total of 5,342,787 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 37,785 done during the day, according to the statement.

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On Jan. 19, the Ministry said in a statement that the Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs (NBSD) had approved the emergency use of China’s Sinopharm and Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccines to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

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

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

From March 7 to April 26 in 2020, 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.

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China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq.

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