BAGHDAD, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported on Wednesday 7,972 new coronavirus cases, raising the total nationwide infections to 949,050.
The new cases included 2,550 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 1,050 in Basra, 571 in Wasit, 541 in Duhok, and 514 in Diyala, while the remaining were detected in other provinces, the ministry said in a statement.
It also reported 40 new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 14,836, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 5,196 to 831,519.
A total of 8,644,228 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020, with 44,282 done during the day.
It said that 16,805 people were vaccinated during the past 24 hours across the country, bringing the total number of doses received to 183,918.
The low turnout for COVID-19 vaccines among citizens prompted Ruba Falah, head of the ministry's media office, to declare that sometimes it is necessary to make vaccination compulsory.
Iraq has taken a series of measures to curb the recent rise in infections after the health ministry announced on Feb. 15 the detection of a new strain characterized by faster transmission and a higher level of severity.
The Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs has approved the emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccines, in addition to AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Sputnik V vaccines.
Since the early stage of the pandemic in 2020, the Chinese government has sent medical aid to Iraq and donated two shipments of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to help combat the pandemic.