Iraq says on alert for possible new COVID-19 spread

A people takes a dose of the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine inside the holy shrine of Imam Abbas in Karbala, Iraq, Aug 15, 2021. (ANMAR KHALIL / AP)

BAGHDAD – The Iraqi health ministry on Friday warned of the possibility of new COVID-19 spread in the country, calling on the public to follow health measures and receive vaccines, official Iraqi News Agency reported.

"The problem of the coronavirus pandemic is still present, … There is a possibility that new variants will appear," Sayf al-Badr, the ministry's spokesman, told the INA.

Iraq reported 339 new COVID-19 cases, raising the nationwide caseload to 2,331,487, and one more fatality

"We are closely monitoring all developments in coordination with the World Health Organization, and there may be a pandemic wave as is happening in countries close to Iraq," al-Badr said.

On Friday, Iraq reported 339 new COVID-19 cases, raising the nationwide caseload to 2,331,487, and one more fatality, bringing the death toll from the virus to 25,226. The total recoveries in Iraq grew by 177 to 2,303,954.

A total of 12,037 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in the past 24 hours across Iraq, bringing the total number of doses administered to 10,785,973, according to the health ministry.

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


The number of new COVID-19 cases registered per day in India continues to rise steeply, with the figure surpassing the 13,000-mark on Saturday.

According to the data released by the federal health ministry, as many as 13,216 new cases were registered across India in the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 43,283,793.

Most cases were reported from the states of Kerala, Maharashtra and Delhi, the ministry's data showed.

The daily positivity rate is 2.73 percent, while the weekly positivity rate has been 2.47 percent, revealed the federal health ministry.

New Zealand

New Zealand reported 4,404 community cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

The Ministry reported 4,404 community cases, 356 current hospitalizations, and 11 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday.

Of the 4,404 community cases of COVID-19, 1,318 cases were from the largest city Auckland.

In addition, there were 50 new cases of COVID-19 reported at the New Zealand border on Saturday, according to the ministry.

New Zealand has reported 1,263,333 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

New Zealand is currently under the orange settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, where there is no limit for gatherings.

READ MORENZ removes pre-departure virus tests for inbound travelers

A woman jogs past a four-legged robot called Spot, which broadcasts a recorded message reminding people to observe safe distancing as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, during its two-week trial at the Bishan-Ang Moh Kio Park in Singapore on May 8, 2020. (ROSLAN  RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 4,085 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total tally to 1,360,780.

Of the new cases, 3,698 were local transmissions and 387 were imported cases. Among the local cases, 375 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 3,323 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

A total of 264 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with four of them in intensive care units.

One more death was recorded due to COVID-19 infection, bringing the death toll to 1,402, the ministry said.