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04 mai 2020 | 12h40 UTC

Iraq: Authorities impose full lockdown on Kirkuk province May 4-9 /update 27

Iraq Alerte de sécurité

Regional authorities in Kirkuk province impose strict lockdown measures to control spread of COVID-19 May 4-9; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/5/2020, 12h00 until 16/5/2020, 11h59 (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq, Kirkuk province

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Event

On Sunday, May 3, the crisis cell responsible for Kirkuk's province's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic announced it was imposing a full lockdown on the province from Monday, May 4, to Saturday, May 9. Under the lockdown entry into and exit out of the province will be prohibited, except for medical and media personnel. A 24-hour curfew will be in place and official working hours will be suspended.

The Higher Committee for Health and National Safety announced on Tuesday, April 28, that the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 curfew hours will be extended following lack of compliance. Effective immediately, curfew hours are between 18:00 to 06:00 (local time) from Sunday through Thursday, while on Friday and Saturday a 24-hour curfew will remain in place. Authorities also announced new fines for those who do not respect the measures. Drivers of public transportation vehicles carrying more than three passengers and/or where passengers do not wear face masks will be subject to a 50,000 dinar (USD 42) fine. Individuals who fail to wear face masks in public will be fined 10,000 dinars (USD 8). Finally, shop owners that allow more than one customer per every five square meters of space in stores are subject to a 100,000 dinar (USD 84) fine.

These announcements come as a step back from an easing of lockdown measures during Ramadan. Mosques, shopping malls, and parks will remain closed during the partial lifting of the lockdown. The ongoing nationwide curfew was initially implemented on Tuesday, March 17.

As of Monday, May 4, officials have announced 2296 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 97 associated deaths nationwide. Further international spread of COVID-19 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 March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled 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 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 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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