The Erbil Municipality and regional health authorities have launched a sterilisation campaign to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Erbil recorded its first case of the Coronavirus last week as a 33-year-old pregnant woman was diagnosed with the virus in the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Her condition remains stable, however, the authorities are taking action to implement precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Firsat Sofi, the governor of Erbil, has ordered the closure of certain public areas where people are likely to gather, including public parks, malls and bars. The first confirmed death from Coronavirus in the KRI was confirmed on 4th March in the city of Sulaymaniyah, leading to a heightened response from the authorities.
The KRI has confirmed nine cases of the Coronavirus overall, leading to the regional government’s decision to close schools as well as the border with Iran, from where most, if not all, the cases have originated. Bilateral trade with neighbouring Iran has also been suspended until 15th April. Hundreds of people who have returned to the KRI and Iraq from Iran had been quarantined, but were recently released on the grounds that they were not infected with Coronavirus. Any Iraqis still in Iran are permitted to return until 15th March.
Iraq has taken measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the country by halting flights and travel from Iran, China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Singapore as well as reducing or completely cancelling working hours in public institutions in a number of provinces. A sterilisation campaign is also being implemented in other parts of Iraq.
Religious institutions throughout the country are also taking steps to curb the spread of the virus. The Imam Hussein and Abbas Shrines in Karbala, in addition to the Imam Ali Shrine, announced that they will either shut down the institutions for disinfection, or temporarily halt congregational prayers and events.
The whole of Iraq has thus far recorded 56 cases of the Coronavirus and six deaths.