News Alerts

23 Mar 2020 | 10:22 AM UTC

Iraq: Nationwide lockdown implemented March 22 /update 15

Iraq News Alert

Iraqi authorities implement nationwide lockdown and extend travel limitations in Baghdad to March 28; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/23/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/18/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq

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Event

On Sunday, March 22, Iraqi authorities announced a nationwide lockdown due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), until Saturday, March 28. While many provinces established curfews, the decision applies to the entire country. The country's airports are closed, as are schools, universities, religious sites, and other gathering places.

In Baghdad, a travel ban prohibiting any travel into or out of the city, first implemented on Tuesday, March 17, will be extended until 23:00 (local time) on March 28. It is unclear whether exceptions will be made.

As of Monday, March 23, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iraq has risen to 233 with 20 fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is 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 March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the outbreak as pandemic.

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.

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, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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