Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi (C) visits a medicine warehouse in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 16, 2020. The Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi on Saturday praised China's instrumental role in supporting Iraq in fighting against the spread of COVID-19, as the health authorities are preparing for a major campaign across the country. (Xinhua)
BAGHDAD, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi on Saturday praised China's instrumental role in supporting Iraq in fighting against the spread of coronavirus, as the health authorities are preparing for a major campaign across the country.
"The People's Republic of China has played a great role in providing us with medical supplies. We also have cooperation with other countries, but China has a distinctive role in providing large quantities of supplies for diagnosing the disease and our cooperation is continuing with it," al-Tamimi said in a press conference at a medicine warehouse in western Baghdad.
Al-Tamimi's comments came as the Iraqi health ministry has been importing different medical supplies to support the diagnosis capacity in the country.
Al-Tamimi also supervised the distribution of the test kits and other medical supplies to health departments in Baghdad and other provinces with the aim of launching a major campaign to conduct tests to detect infections of COVID-19.
"Today we enter a new stage after the arrival of these laboratory supplies, and tomorrow we will begin a massive campaign in the areas that have witnessed a rise in the number of infections of COVID-19," al-Tamimi added.
Also on Saturday, a ministry statement confirmed 67 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 3,260 in the country.
The new cases were recorded after 3,100 tests were carried out during the past 24 hours across the country, and a total of 146,594 tests since the outbreak of the disease, the ministry said in a statement.
So far, up to 121 people have died from the disease, while 2,126 have recovered, the statement said.
Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.
On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help combat the coronavirus.