Iraq on Sunday imposed a total nationwide lockdown until March 28 to fight the novel coronavirus, as the number of cases grew and the death toll climbed to 20.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
Most of Iraq’s 18 provinces had so far imposed their own local curfews but the new measures would include the whole of the country, according to a new decision by the government’s crisis cell.
Schools, universities and other gathering places would remain closed, as would the country’s multiple international airports, it said in a statement seen by AFP.
Many had feared a potential influx of cases from neighboring Iran, where 1,685 people have died after contracting the COVID-19 respiratory illness.
Iraq first shut it 1,500-kilometre border with Iran about a month ago and deployed troops to enforce the decision.
The virus has killed only 20 people in Iraq while 233 others are infected but there are concerns that many cases are going undetected, as only 2,000 people of the country’s 40-million population have been tested so far.
Thousands of Iraqi Shias defy coronavirus curfews to commemorate imamTens of thousands of Iraqi Shias turned out to commemorate a revered imam on Saturday, defying curfews imposed to stem the spread of the ... Middle East
Coronavirus: Iraqi Shia ceremonial eulogists defying ban on public gatheringsIraqi eulogist reciters still performing Shia ceremonial religious rites are being criticized for not following measures to stop the spread of ... Features
Iraqi shia pilgrims defy curfews and coronavirus outbreakStealing around barbed wire barriers through fields and side streets, dozens of black-clad Shia pilgrims in Baghdad defied curfews and coronavirus ... Middle East