Students wearing face masks enter a classroom at a school in Baghdad, Iraq, on Nov. 29, 2020. The Iraqi Health Ministry reported on Sunday 1,614 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide infections to 550,435. New school year has started across Iraq on Nov. 29. (Xinhua)
BAGHDAD, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Health Ministry reported on Sunday 1,614 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide infections to 550,435.
It also reported 24 new deaths and 2,366 more recovered cases in the country, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 12,224 and the total recoveries to 480,903.
The ministry also said that Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi and Education Minister Ali Hamid visited a primary school in the capital Baghdad to oversee the implementation of the health-protective measures on the first day of the new school year, as more than 10 million students went to classrooms across the country.
Al-Tamimi confirmed that the visit included the follow-up of the COVID-19 tests for teachers and students, as planned earlier by the ministry, according to a statement.
For his part, Hamid praised the efforts of the health ministry's personnel in conducting awareness campaigns and their support for the Education Ministry to prevent the spread of the virus, the statement added.
Separately, Riyadh Abdul-Amir, head of the ministry's Public Health Department, told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that Iraq is currently the 20th in the global ranking of coronavirus infections after once the 11th.
"It is not possible to judge at this time that the pandemic has receded, especially as we are in winter, when infections are likely to increase. But if the decline of infections continues until the end of the winter, that will be an indication of the pandemic's receding," INA quoted Abdul-Amir as saying.
Iraq has taken a series of measures to contain the pandemic since February when the first coronavirus case appeared in the country.
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 also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq. Enditem