Thu, 04 Mar 2021

BAGHDAD, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Health Ministry reported on Sunday 893 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide number to 613,763.

The ministry also reported five new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 12,993, and 1,704 more recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 581,542.

A total of 5,378,130 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 35,343 done during the day, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Health spokesman Sayf al-Badr told official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that the import of the vaccine and its distribution would be through the health authorities.

"The coronavirus vaccines that have been approved so far are three, and other vaccines may be approved by the Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs (NBSD)," INA quoted al-Badr as saying.

On Jan. 19, the ministry said in a statement that the 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.

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

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