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26 Jul 2020 | 03:09 PM UTC

Iraq: Authorities announce total lockdown for Eid Al-Adha holiday until August 9 /update 44

Iraq News Alert

Iraqi authorities announce a total nationwide lockdown for Eid Al-Adha until August 9; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/9/2020, 11:00 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq

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Iraqi authorities have announced a total nationwide lockdown until August 9, as a precaution to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) over the Eid Al-Adha holiday. The measure will not apply in areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has already announced that a 72-hour total curfew will be in effect for the duration of the holiday, lasting from Friday, July 31, to Monday, August 3.

The decision comes the day after authorities announced the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Iraq since the outbreak began, with 2862 new cases identified on Saturday, July 25.

Despite the additional restrictions and increase in cases, airports reopened for limited international commercial flights on Thursday, July 23, with flights resuming to Beirut and Cairo from Baghdad. Further airports are to reopen in the near future, with the airports of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) area expected to reopen on Saturday, August 1.

Restrictions that have been previously lifted may be reinstated should cases continue rising.

As of Sunday, July 26, health authorities have confirmed 107,573 COVID-19 cases with 4284 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


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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