BAGHDAD, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Health Ministry on Thursday recorded 1,261 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 16,675 in the country.
It said that 31 more people died from the coronavirus during the day, bringing the death toll to 457, while 6,568 patients have recovered.
The new cases were recorded after 9,342 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 339,868 tests have been conducted since the outbreak of the disease, the statement added.
Meanwhile, Ryadh Abdul Amir, head of the Health Ministry's Public Health Department, said in a statement that the latest increase of infections "is serious and could lead to extending the full curfew in the country."
On June 6, the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, took several measures including the continuation of the full curfew until June 13, and then replacing it with a partial curfew starting on June 14.
The committee also announced to prevent the movement between provinces, except for the health, security and public service personnel, and ordered security forces to tighten the control of the implementation of health restrictions.
China has been helping Iraq with the fight against 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 an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.
China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq.