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08 Jun 2020 | 08:20 PM UTC

Iraq: Government extends suspension of commercial flights until June 13 /update 34

Iraqi government extends suspension of commercial flights until June 13 to limit the spread of COVID-19; confirm travel itineraries

Entrée/sortie
Santé
transport
IRQ

Event

On Monday, June 8, Iraqi authorities extended the suspension of commercial flights in and out of the country until Saturday, June 13, to curb further the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Qatar Airways has previously offered occasional special charter flights when granted permission from Iraqi authorities. A further extension of the ban cannot be ruled out.

The nationwide curfew remains in place until Saturday, June 13, during which individuals are only permitted to travel for essential purposes. The wearing of face masks for all movements outside of homes remains mandatory, including in vehicles. A maximum occupancy of 50 percent in all forms of transportation also remains in place. Food shops and bakeries are also permitted to open, provided no more than five people are inside at any one time. As of June 8, there have been 13,481 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iraq, with 370 associated fatalities.

Further international 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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