News Alerts

11 Mar 2020 | 08:58 AM UTC

Iraq: Authorities ban public gatherings, religious centers March 9 /update 11

Iraq News Alert

Iraqi authorities ban public gatherings and visits to religious sites as of March 9; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/11/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/4/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq, Najaf province

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Event

Iraqi authorities announced on Monday, March 9, that public gatherings would be banned nationwide amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19). Authorities also called on citizens to avoid visiting religious sites and sacred cities with the same objective.

A lockdown on of Najaf governorate to non-residents is due to take effect as of Wednesday, March 11, for a period of seven days to curb the spread of COVID-19.

There is an existing entry restriction for those traveling from Spain, France, China, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Iraqi citizens and foreign diplomats are exempted from the ban.

To date, there are 71 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term

Context

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 numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble 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.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

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

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

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, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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