BAGHDAD, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi Sunday vowed to apply strict measures against the violators of the health restrictions after the health authorities decided earlier to ease some restrictions.
"Health and awareness teams from the Health Ministry will follow up the implementation of preventive measures during easing of the restrictions approved by the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, and there will be strict measures against those who violate these decisions," al-Tamimi said in a press release.
On July 16, the committee, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, decided to reduce the hours of the partial curfew, except for the full curfew on days of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
It also decided to completely lift the curfew after the Eid al-Adha holiday, which is expected to end in the early days of August according to the Islamic lunar calendar, the statement said.
The committee's decisions also included reopening the airports for the flights starting from July 23, in addition to reopening two crossing border points with neighboring Iran and one with Kuwait for commercial exchange.
Al-Tamimi called on the citizens to abide by the health instructions to keep social distancing and refrain from gatherings, asserting that the number of testing capacity has increased in the country to 17,000 per day, and will increase more gradually.
His comments came as the Iraqi Health Ministry reported 2,310 COVID-19 cases during the day, bringing the total nationwide infections to 92,530.
The ministry reported 90 more deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 3,781.
It also said that 2,036 people recovered during the day, bringing the total recoveries from the disease to 60,528.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the pandemic.
China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
From March 7 to April 26, a Chinese team of seven medical experts spent 50 days in Iraq to help contain the disease, during which they helped build a PCR lab and install an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.
Since March 7, China has sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq. Enditem