• 1202 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 9 April 2020
• 69 fatalities confirmed due to COVID-19 as of 9 April 2020
• 452 patients who have recovered from the virus
• Total temporary lockdown in KRI
• New interactive WHO Dynamic Dashboard for Iraq online
• Iraq Information Centre launches COVID-19 dashboard
• Global HRP for COVID-19 has received $394m in funding
As of 9 April 2020, the WHO has confirmed 1202 cases of COVID-19 in Iraq; 69 fatalities; and 425 patients who have recovered from the virus.
Approximately one-quarter of the cases are in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI); the remainder are in federal Iraq. The Government of Iraq has extended curfews and movement restrictions in federal Iraq until 18-April. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has extended curfews and movement restrictions until 10-April (possibly to be extended), with a total lockdown of movement between 18:00h-00:00h.
The KRG imposed a two-day complete curfew (no commercial activity or movement permitted, even for United Nations staff) on 4-6 April, in response to a perceived disregard of curfew directives. Airports throughout Iraq and KRI are to remain closed until 11-April; at the time of writing, there have been no updates regarding their operating hours.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has continued its efforts to procure sufficient supplies to support testing of suspected cases of COVID-19. The global demand on supplies and equipment has created a worldwide shortage of supplies. In particular, stocks of Virus Transport Medium (VTM)—a gel-like substance used to preserve nasal swab specimens while they are being transported to labs—have been low. In cooperation with Basrah University in southern Iraq, the WHO has successfully produced urgently-needed laboratory supplies to speed up testing. As of 1 April, the University manufacturing team produced more than 1620 VTM in addition to 3200 nasal swabs. These were delivered to health directorates in Iraq’s Basra, Muthana, Karbala, and Wasit governorates. Disinfectants and sterilization material, including hand sanitizer, have also been produced locally with support from the Government of Iraq. In parallel, the WHO has collaborated closely with religious authorities in Najaf and Karbala to postpone all mass religious gatherings in the country, advising instead that people observe religious rituals from the safety of their own homes.
The World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners who track commodities and markets report that prices surges are being observed. Social distancing measures such as mandatory movement restrictions are reducing the economic activity in the country, which negatively impacts the most vulnerable groups such as day laborers and low-income workers. Nearly all governorates reported price increases in food items; approximately half reported price hikes in hygiene items, while three reported increases in fuel prices. Significant price spikes were observed during the last two weeks of March.
The Iraq Information Centre (IIC)—a call centre that provides information on humanitarian assistance in Iraq to IDPs, returnees, asylum seekers, refugees, and vulnerable host community members—has established a COVID-19 dashboard to track calls they receive about challenges related to the impacts of the virus in Iraq. As of 4-April, the IIC had received 585 calls regarding COVID-19, with the majority of calls coming from Ninewa, Erbil and Duhok.
As of 9-April, the Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 had attracted $394 million in funding, out of $2.01 billion requested, or approximately 20 per cent of the total requirement.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.