Iraq

Iraq: COVID-19 Situation Report No. 13, 10 May 2020

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This report was produced by OCHA Iraq in collaboration with humanitarian partners and from news sources

KEY MESSAGES

  • 2676 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 10 May 2020
  • 107 fatalities confirmed due to COVID-19 as of 10 May 2020
  • 1702 patients who have recovered from the virus
  • General relaxation of curfew measures
  • Updated Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 launched

SITUATION OVERVIEW

As of 10 May 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed 2676 cases of COVID-19 in Iraq; 107 fatalities; and 1702 patients who have recovered from the virus. Approximately 15 per cent of the cases have been recorded in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the remainder have been in federal Iraq. Nearly 125,000 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in both federal Iraq and KRI.

The Government of Iraq (GOI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have generally relaxed enforcement of the stringent curfews and movement restrictions which have been in place for several weeks, although they are nominally still applicable. Partial lockdowns are currently in force in federal Iraq until 22 May, and in KRI until 10-May (with the possibility of extension). The WHO and the Ministry of Health recommend maintenance of strict protective measures for all citizens to prevent a resurgence of new cases in the country. Airports in Iraq remain closed to commercial travel until 22-May.

United Nations agencies continue to be vigilant about the impact that COVID-19 is having on the lives of ordinary Iraqis. WHO and UNICEF urged parents to ensure that children receive their routine immunizations while following national and local guidance on COVID-19 preventive measures. Vaccinations rates in Iraq have been low in recent years due to decades of conflict and under-investment in health services. UNICEF and WHO have called on the Government of Iraq to increase investment in health services and to start planning intensified immunization activities, including campaigns, to identify and reach children with missed vaccine doses, once the pandemic is fully under control.

In KRI, the Ministry of Education, with support from UNICEF, has launched a satellite TV channel to support the learning needs of children and youths who may have limited internet access while schools remain closed due to COVID-19. An estimated 1.5 million children from grade 1 to grade 12 will be reached at home with a curriculum that is also applicable for refugee and displaced children. The channel will broadcast daily in Arabic, Kurdish (Sorani) and Syriac languages for an initial period of three months. In addition to the educational content, the channel will also disseminate awareness raising messages about COVID-19, including social distancing and handwashing practices.

On 7-May, an update to the Global Humanitarian Response for COVID-19 was launched. The total financial requirements have risen from US$2 billion to $6.69 billion. This significant increase is due to a rapid evolution of humanitarian needs, the inclusion of the additional countries in the appeal, increased cost of essential health and other supplies, and air and sea transportation. As of 7-May, $923 million has been received. For Iraq, the appeal seeks $263.3 million to bolster immediate health needs, including increased national capacity to respond to sudden-onset public health emergencies and improving health workers’ ability to conduct surveillance and rapid response; the sourcing of personal protective equipment, sterilization agents and testing reagents; and the construction of isolation units in referral hospitals. Humanitarian partners in Iraq have identified activities in the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan which can be used to mitigate the impact of the virus and are working with national and local authorities to implement priority activities, including preventing the further spread of the disease through hygiene promotion, WASH activities, disease outbreak preparedness, quarantine/ isolation measures, and awareness raising. Funding will also be used to support remote protection monitoring, psycho-social support, legal assistance, alternative education, care for unaccompanied children, the provision of food assistance, and multi-purpose cash and livelihoods support for the most vulnerable.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.