Iraq reports 24-hour virus toll record of over 3,800

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Iraq's health ministry Thursday reported 3,841 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, a record since the first infection was registered in February.

The latest count raises total confirmed cases in Iraq to 164,277, including 5,641 deaths, according to the ministry.

The novel coronavirus has brought Iraq's fragile economy to its knees and overwhelmed hospitals already stretched by decades of conflict and a lack of investment.

Iraq reopened to in late July after four months of lockdown. Earlier that month it had lifted other restrictions and reopened malls and shops.

But the number of confirmed virus cases had risen steadily until Thursday's record tally.

It made Iraq one of the worst hit countries in the Middle East, but still far behind neighbouring Iran where total confirmed cases since February are over 300,000.

© 2020 AFP

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