The World Health Organization (WHO) in Iraq said that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) acts extremely reasonably and correct under the pressure of the coronavirus.
The representative of the WHO in Iraq, Adnan Nawar, told local media that the citizens in the Kurdistan Region are more committed to the instructions, especially concerning the curfew, in comparison to the other Iraqi provinces. Such responsible behaviour could be explained by clear and timely instructions from the medical authorities.
“All the measures taken in the Kurdistan Region are correct and are in line with the instructions of the World Health Organization, and the International Health Regulations,” Adnan Nawar praised the KRG.
Taking into account the COVID-19 situation in the region, KRG measures aimed at containing a regional outbreak, Kurdistan24 reports. That include temporarily closing schools, declaring extended public holidays for government workers, cancelling all religious services, and announcing curfews first in the most populated provinces of Erbil and Sulaimani.
With the deteriorating situation in the Middle East this week, the above-mentioned measures expanded across the entire Kurdistan Region.
UN voice concern on the Middle Eastern coronavirus spreading
On Thursday, the United Nations warned that the coronavirus could spread substantially in Iraq as a result of crowded religious pilgrimages that have not ceased altogether in the country. While the UN statement pointed out that “the success of containment efforts so far should not lead us to relax just yet, the battle is not over and large gatherings which can lead to the spread of the virus must be restricted.”
The statement comes as large crowds of visitors flocked to Baghdad’s neighbourhood of Al-Kadhimiya to visit the Imam Al-Kazim shrine, one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam.
In addition, Iraqi Health Minister Jaafer Allawi called on security services to enforce the curfew by force and prevent any movement of people and vehicles.
The latest efforts of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 is the establishment of a citizen communications centre to advise citizens of the risks of coronavirus and how to protect themselves from it. The aim is minimizing the number of infected people, especially on the eve of the Kurdish New Year, Newroz.
In a public message marking the coming Newroz, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani called upon all citizens of the Kurdistan Region to follow health guidelines enacted by health and police officials.
“The Kurdistan Region is not exempt from COVID-19 and (it) has become a major challenge for the people of Kurdistan,” KDP leader said.