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16 Mar 2020 | 05:57 AM UTC

Iraq: Authorities implement further measures due to COVID-19 from March 17 /update 13

Iraqi officials implement curfew in Baghdad from March 17, and further restrictive measures amid COVID-19 pandemic; follow authority directives



On Sunday, March 15, Iraqi officials implemented additional domestic measures in an effort to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread domestically. In Baghdad, a curfew will be implemented from 23:00 (local time) on Tuesday, March 17, until 23:00 on Monday, March 23. National authorities added that governors are empowered to implement curfew measures.

All flights entering Iraq will be banned from Tuesday, March 17, until at least Tuesday, March 24. Authorities further added that movement between governorates should be stopped and that the nationwide ban on public gatherings remains in place as of Monday, March 16.

As of Monday, roadblocks remain in place across the Kurdistan Region cities of Erbil and Sulaimani to enforce an extended lockdown and traffic suspension. In the Najaf governorate the seven-day lockdown implemented on Wednesday, March 11, also remains in place as of Monday.

As of Monday, March 16, some 124 COVID-19 cases and nine associated deaths have been confirmed in Iraq. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over 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). 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) labelled the outbreak as 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.


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 non-essential 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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