Coronavirus: Iraq says COVID-19 claimed over 10,000 lives

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Iraq’s health ministry said Wednesday that more than 10,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the country whose threadbare health sector has been battered by the virus.

Iraq has registered more than 413,000 cases, and the total death toll now stands at 10,021, the ministry said.

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Neighboring Iran has recorded around three times as many fatalities, the highest toll in the region.

Baghdad recently lifted restrictions and reopened mosques, shops and cafes but has kept its borders closed to non-residents.

It has also urged citizens not to attend large gatherings.

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However over 14.5 million people flocked to Arabeen, the religious commemoration for Shia Muslims which ended last week, according to religious authorities, with few wearing masks or observing social distancing.

Iraq’s health system, worn down by years of war, insurgency and under-investment, has crumbled under the strain of rising infections, and medical staff have complained of a lack of personal protective equipment.

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