Iraqi foreign minister tests positive for Covid-19

Fuad Hussein is in 'good condition and is recovering', spokesman says

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein missed an Arab League meeting after testing positive for Covid-19, a ministry spokesman said on January 30, 2022.  AFP
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Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein missed a regional meeting on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19.

“We confirm that the minister is in a good condition and he is recovering. God willing, he will continue his work and activities in the near future," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Al Sahaf said in a statement to The National.

The minister did not take part in a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Kuwait on Sunday, he said.

Mr Hussein, 73, took office in June 2020.

Iraq's coronavirus infections surged in January after a significant decline since mid-2021 which was helped by more people getting vaccinated.

The health ministry on Sunday reported 5,582 new Covid-19 cases and 15 deaths in the previous 24 hours, down from more than 8,500 cases reported two days earlier.

The country has registered more than 2.2 million cases since the start of the pandemic, placing a strain on its struggling health system.

Health authorities launched an inoculation campaign last March using the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines. But there has been a high level of vaccine hesitancy and distrust among the 40 million population.

The country’s healthcare system has been in crisis for decades due to sanctions, conflict and corruption. There is a shortage of doctors and medical staff as many have fled the country, and medicines are scarce.

Updated: January 30, 2022, 3:22 PM