News Alerts

08 Apr 2020 | 09:38 AM UTC

Iraq: Nationwide restrictions extended through April 18 /update 20

Iraq News Alert

Iraqi authorities extend nationwide COVID-19 restrictions until April 18; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/8/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/9/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq

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Event

The Iraqi High Health and Safety Committee Against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) announced an extension of the nationwide restrictions on civilian movement until Saturday, April 18. These restrictions had previously been scheduled to end on Saturday, April 11. Under this directive, civilians are banned from travel outside their homes, except to purchase necessities, such as food, medicine, and fuel. Iraqi security forces, healthcare workers, emergency personnel, commercial traffic, and oilfield staff are exempt from the national ban. Stricter limitations on movement may be enforced by local governments, however. The country's airports are closed, as are schools, universities, religious sites, and other gathering places. International flights have been banned since Tuesday, March 17, until further notice.

On Monday, April 6, the governor of Basra instructed the security forces to increase the intensity of curfew measures including a complete ban on inter-province movement, all shops to be closed by 15:00 (local time) and a ban on movement in the city after 15:00. Service sector staff, internet providers, telecommunications professionals, judges, media, and bank managers are exempt from the ban.

As of Wednesday, April 8, Iraqi officials have reported 1122 COVID-19 cases including 65 deaths and 373 recoveries. 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 a 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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