Iraq reimposes stricter restrictions

Iraqi authorities have approved a package of health restrictions, including reimposing partial and full curfew starting from later this week due to a resurgence of new Covid cases.

The Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, held a meeting on Saturday and decided to impose a partial curfew for four days and a full curfew for three days during the period from February 18 until March 8, Xinhua news agency quotd an official statement as saying.

During the period, the partial curfew will start from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

While the full curfew will be imposed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the committee pointed out.

The committee exempted health workers, security forces, public service departments from the curfew, and stated that the vegetable shops, bakeries, and pharmacies will be opened from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. during the full curfew days, the statement said.

It also stated that the governmental institutions will work with 50 per cent of its employees, except for the Ministry of Health.

The higher committee decided that all governmental and private schools, institutes, and colleges will resort to electronic learning starting from February 18 until March 4, it said.

The higher committee decisions included preventing gatherings such as collective prayers in mosques, wedding and funeral ceremonies, as well as imposing a fine of 25,000 Iraqi Dinars against individuals who do not abide by wearing masks inside cars and buses, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported 2,190 new Covid-19 cases, which increased the overall tally to 641,628.

The Ministry also registered seven new fatalities, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 13,164.

It said that 1,158 cases recovered on Saturday, bringing the total recoveries to 605,980.