Kurdistan Region recorded five suspected cases of new coronavirus variant: ministry

File – A medical worker is walking inside a center to test and treat coronavirus patients in Sulaimani. (Esta Media Network)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region has recorded five suspected cases of the new coronavirus variant, said authorities on Saturday.

Spokesman of Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Health Aso Hawezi said the ministry would confirm the cases once the results showed they had the new variant.

“Now, there are five suspected cases of the new coronavirus strain. They will be ensured by special devices, and we will announce whether there is the new coronavirus variant,” Hawezi said in a statement.

The official further said the ministry had devices and equipment to test people suspected of infection with the new virus strain.

The minister has instructed the health directorates to make preparations in order to test people visiting the Kurdistan Region through the checkpoints, he added.

There are still no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant in the Kurdistan Region, but Iraq has recorded 2,300 cases.

The new COVID-19 variant was recorded in Baghdad and Najaf, Iraqi government’s Crisis Cell said on February 18.

It added that most of the cases were recorded among children.

Iraq has recorded its highest new COVID-19 caseload in 2021 – double the daily figures from less than a week ago.

On Friday, Iraq recorded 4,024 new coronavirus cases compared to just 2,190 on February 13, for a population of 40 million people total. Deaths have remained relatively low at 12 per day.

After peaking in September at around 5,000 new cases per day, there had been a remarkable drop with around 800 new cases a day in December.

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