An Iraqi man looks out of a doorway as a civil defence worker disinfects an area of Najaf where Covid-19 cases have been detected (3 February 2020)Picture copyright
AFP

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Iraq has to date reported 34 instances of the brand new coronavirus illness

Iraq’s well being ministry has introduced its first two confirmed deaths associated to the brand new coronavirus illness.

A lady with a compromised immune system and a 65-year-old man who suffered from continual ailments died on Wednesday within the capital, Baghdad.

There have been additionally conflicting stories a couple of 70-year-old cleric who died in Sulaimaniya, within the Kurdistan Area.

Kurdish officers mentioned the loss of life was the results of Covid-19, however the well being ministry mentioned that was not confirmed.

Two kinfolk of the cleric, who was in quarantine earlier than his loss of life, have examined optimistic for the illness, in accordance with the Kurdish well being authorities.

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Reuters

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Cafes have been closed, together with faculties, universities and cinemas

Iraq has to date reported 34 instances, in accordance with the World Well being Group (WHO). Most of them are linked to neighbouring Iran, the place an outbreak has killed 107 individuals and contaminated three,513 others.

There may be concern that Iraq’s well being system won’t be able to deal with a serious outbreak, after years of warfare, UN sanctions, neglect and corruption.

A member of the Iraqi parliament’s well being committee has mentioned the nation’s “hospitals and healthcare services are absolutely geared up to take care of the outbreak”.

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However the WHO mentioned final month that Iraq’s medical infrastructure had “some vital gaps” that it was working to handle. Medical doctors have reported shortages in provides, gear and workers.

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There are additionally greater than four.1 million individuals, virtually half of them kids, in want of humanitarian help in Iraq.

Some 1.four million civilians are internally displaced, and there are a whole lot of hundreds of refugees from neighbouring international locations.

The UN has warned that many reside in camps the place circumstances and outdated infrastructure imply that Covid-19 might probably unfold simply.

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Reuters

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Anti-government protesters have been taking precautions

Iraq’s border with Iran has been closed, and Iraqi residents getting back from Iran are required to bear a 14-day necessary quarantine.

In an try to halt the unfold of the illness inside Iraq, the authorities have positioned restrictions on gatherings at public websites and ordered the closures of faculties, universities, cinemas and cafes. A number of authorities ministries, departments and committees have additionally suspended work.

On Thursday, the Shia spiritual authorities introduced that that they had cancelled the weekly Friday prayers within the southern holy metropolis of Karbala.

A press release issued by the Imam Hussein Shrine Administration on Thursday mentioned the choice was taken in response to the “present well being scenario” and a name by Karbala’s well being division to “chorus from holding giant gatherings as of late”.

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Reuters

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Volunteers have been distributing face masks to poor households in Kirkuk

The shrines in Karbala and within the neighbouring metropolis of Najaf – the place an Iranian theology scholar was Iraq’s first case of Covid-19 – appeal to hundreds of thousands of Shia pilgrims from the world over yearly. The Iranian metropolis in Qom, which can also be a serious Shia pilgrimage web site, was the place Iran’s Covid-19 outbreak first emerged.

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This month there are three vital Shia holy days that may usually appeal to giant numbers of pilgrims from Iran.

Saudi Arabia mentioned on Wednesday that it had suspended the lesser Muslim pilgrimage, or Umra, for residents and residents as a precaution. Final week, it barred foreigners from performing pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina.

Instances linked to Iran have additionally been reported by Saudi Arabia, in addition to Afghanistan, Canada, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE, which is a serious hub for worldwide air journey, informed residents and overseas residents on Thursday to “keep away from journey” anyplace overseas.