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Iraqi Volunteers Help Coronavirus Patients at Home

Iraqi Volunteers Help Coronavirus Patients at Home

Thursday, 13 August, 2020 - 06:30
A member of the medical team walks near quarantine room of a hospital, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Najaf, Iraq (Reuters)

A group of Iraqi volunteers launched an initiative to deliver oxygen cylinders and medical supplies to coronavirus patients who are being treated at their homes, as the total number of deaths reached 5588 in the country.

The 15-members team of volunteers focuses on distributing free oxygen cylinders and medical supplies to patients in Najaf.

The head of the volunteer team, Mustafa Kashif al-Ghata, explained that after the oxygen crisis in al-Nasiriyah city and the subsequent oxygen crises in all governorates, the group decided to work on finding a solution.

They launched a campaign to distribute oxygen free of charge in Najaf after receiving calls from citizens in need, said Ghata, adding that now they are working on the issue of blood plasma which is known to speed up the recovery process.

The volunteers wear full protective clothing and carry large oxygen cylinders to deliver them to the homes of patients recovering from COVID-19.

Haidar al-Khalidi is one of the coronavirus patients who were asked to receive treatment at his home. He spent only three days in the hospital before doctors asked him to leave his bed for another critically ill patient who needed it more.

Khalidi said it was not an issue and the doctor wrote him a list of medicines before he left home.

Khalidi told Reuters that the hospital is full of patients with no vacancies, noting that even the emergency wards are full and people have started to sleep on the floor.

The General Director of Najaf Health Directorate, Salem al-Hamidawi, reported that hospitals can no longer accommodate the increasing numbers of coronavirus patients.

Hamidawi noted that it would be very difficult to provide hospital beds for 2,000 patients at once, explaining that patients with mild symptoms are isolated in other wards and all severe cases that need respiratory devices remain in hospitals.

The Iraqi Health Ministry reported Wednesday 3,441 new cases in the day, bringing the total nationwide infections to 160,436.

It also reported 57 fatalities during the day, raising the death toll to 5,588, while 2,439 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 114,541.

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