Iraq to maintain partial curfew after fast-breaking feast to curb COVID-19 spread

The Iraqi Health Ministry on Sunday said that further health preventive measures will be taken next week after the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, including maintaining the partial curfew to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

“The health measures after Eid al-Fitr holiday … will include continuing the partial curfew, and the ministry will assess the epidemiological situation after the holiday to take measures appropriate to the health situation,” the health minister Hassan al-Tamimi said in a statement.

Al-Tamimi attributed the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases to the lack of abidance by some citizens to the health preventive measures and curfew instructions.

Also in the day, the ministry recorded 197 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 4,469 in the country.

Eight more people died during the day, seven of them in Baghdad’s hospitals and one in Wasit, bringing the death toll in the country to 160, while 2,738 others have recovered so far.

The new cases were recorded after 6,503 test kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 188,685 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.

Since the outbreak of the disease, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

On May 10, the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, decided to partially lift the curfew, while full curfew will continue for Friday and Saturday in addition to the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in late May.

Eid al-Fitr is the festival of breaking the fasting after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help combatting the coronavirus.