Day after Kurdistan Region posts record number of new cases, official says rate of new cases leveling off in Sulaimani

‘Does not mean the virus is gone’
An ambulance is seen outside Martyr Hazhar Emergency Hospital in Kalar city (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media/ File)

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SULAIMANI — Deputy General Director of Sulaimani Health Directorate Hersh Said Salim said on Monday (August 10) that local coronavirus infections have decreased in recent weeks, arguing that widespread public exposure to the virus and resultant immunity was a factor in the decreasing numbers.

In a statement given to NRT Digital Media, Said Salim characterized health conditions in Sulaimani as “stable,” noting that the number of new daily coronavirus infections was less than it had been during June and July.

“The crowd of Eid [al-Adha] days and the arrival of tourists did not have any dangerous repercussions, but it does not mean the virus is gone,” he said.

On Sunday, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Health said that there have been 9,093 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Sulaimani since the local outbreak began in early March.

At the moment, there are 3,022 active cases and a total of 5,620 patients have recovered.

“A large portion of Sulaimani residents contracted the virus, [thus] general immunity has been generated against the coronavirus. That will have direct impact on the reduction of infection rates and a fall in statistics,” Said Salim added.

If that is the case, it has come at great cost: officially, 451 people have died in the governorate from COVID-19, the lung disease caused by coronavirus infection, which representants 70 percent of the Region’s overall death toll.

Moreover, the number of cases continues to rise, both in the governorate and across the Kurdistan Region as a whole, which recorded its highest single one-day total with 542 new cases on Sunday. The health ministry reported that there were 81 new cases in Sulaimani.

The bulk of new cases were recorded in Erbil and Duhok, with 285 and 160 new cases respectively.

According to the health ministry, there have been 17,039 total cases of coronavirus in the Kurdistan Region as of Sunday. An official tally of 10,143 patients has recovered from COVID-19 and 648 have died from it.

(NRT Digital Media)


Chart produced by the KRG's Ministry of Health showing the accumulation of new cases in Sulaimani since June 1, when there was 402 total cases, until August 9, when there was 9,093. (Image Credit: KRG)