News Alerts

16 Jul 2020 | 11:13 AM UTC

Iraq: Authorities extend commercial flight suspension until July 22 /update 41

Iraq News Alert

Authorities extend commercial flight suspension until July 22 due to COVID-19; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/23/2020, 11:00 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq

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Event

Officials in Iraq have announced that the nationwide flight suspension, implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has been extended until Wednesday, July 22. The ban includes both domestic and international flights, although medical evacuation and air freight operations are exempt from the ban. Commercial flights by Iraqi Airways between Beirut and Baghdad have also been exempted from the ban. The suspension may be extended beyond July 22 if warranted.

In Erbil Governorate, the nighttime curfew has been extended until at least Sunday, July 19. The movement of vehicles and pedestrians is banned between 00:00 and 05:00 (local time), although pharmacies and medical centers are exempt from the restrictions. Only military, humanitarian, diplomatic, emergency services, and transport linked to the oil industry will be permitted to move freely during this period. Travel between governorates in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), as well as with the rest of Iraq, remains prohibited.

A partial curfew is in effect in southern and central governorates between 19:00 and 06:00 during weekdays and 24-hours on weekends.

As of Thursday, July 16, health authorities have confirmed 83,867 COVID-19 cases with 3432 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in 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) declared the global outbreak 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 nonessential 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 COVID-19 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 disease.

 

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