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Iraq imposes curfews in several provinces

Baghdad, March 16 (IANS) Iraqi authorities have imposed a curfew in several provinces and also suspend flights in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of nine people in the country.

A curfew will be imposed in Baghdad from Tuesday to March 24, the Crisis Committee formed by the government to deal with the new and deadly virus decided on Sunday.

Security forces and healthcare and service sector personnel, as well as journalists, are exempted from these restrictions, Efe news reported.

In the northern province of Saladin, people will be prohibited from moving through the streets from Tuesday until March 25.

Entry to and departure from the province will be prohibited during the curfew, according to Jamal Akab, the media officer at the governor’s office.

The movement restrictions, aimed at preventing the spread of the virus within the province, will not apply to the security forces or health care and service sector personnel, Akab added.

Akab said that shipment of goods and oil supplies will continue to the province, which has yet to report any coronavirus cases.

In Karbala, Governor Nasef al-Khatabi announced a three-day curfew that will come into force as of Monday, while a movement ban will be effective in Dhi Qar starting on Monday.

Nineveh province also took a similar step for two days, while the provinces of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah have extended the restrictions they announced on March 14 for three more days.

Iraq will also halt all flights from Tuesday to March 24, the committee said, confirming that intra-province movement will be suspended.

In the meantime, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported 14 newly detected coronavirus cases, bringing the number of infections to 124.

–IANS

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CanIndia New Wire Service

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