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26 Feb 2020 | 10:28 AM UTC

Iraq: Officials extend entry restrictions for travelers from five countries February 25 /update 4

Iraq News Alert

Travelers coming from five additional countries to face entry restrictions as of February 25; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 3/28/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq

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The Iraqi Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday, February 25, that it would extend entry restrictions to travelers coming from five additional countries in efforts to control the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Travelers coming from Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Singapore will be barred from entering Iraq, alongside those coming from China and Iran. A few exemptions will be made, notably for Iraqi nationals traveling from the above-mentioned countries and personnel working for diplomatic missions and official delegations. These individuals, however, are subject to temperature screenings and possibly quarantine. The Ministry of Health also advises Iraqis not to travel to the aforementioned countries.

Furthermore, schools and universities have been closed for ten days in Najaf province. The government advises Iraqis to not enter or exit Najaf. The Kurdistan Regional Government also announced that flights to and from Najaf remain suspended since Monday, February 24.

As of Wednesday, February 26, there are five confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iraq, with four new ones confirmed in Kirkuk.

Further international spread of the COVID-19 virus is probable over the coming days and weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Individuals in Iraq are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate further transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments  

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.


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