- 382 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iraq as of 26 March 2020
- 36 fatalities confirmed due to COVID-19 as of 26 March 2020
- 105 patients who have recovered from the virus
- Curfews extended
- Humanitarian actors develop guidance for COVID-19 preparedness in IDP camps
- Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 launched
As of 26 March 2020, the Iraqi Ministry of Health has confirmed 382 cases of COVID-19 in Iraq; 36 fatalities; and 105 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. According to the World Health Organization, the patient caseload is approximately 44 per cent female and 56 per cent male, and positive cases are found in all age groups, from children to the elderly, with a heavier concentration in adults who are middle-aged and older.
The Government of Iraq has extended curfews and movement restrictions in federal Iraq until 11-April. At the time of writing, no official announcement had yet been made by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but it is expected to follow suit. There are no additional updates at the time of writing on the closures of Iraq’s airports (currently closed until 28-March), but at present, all major airlines have suspended normal passenger operations to Iraq.
The Minister of Health has called upon Iraqi citizens to be proactive in coming forward if they have flu-like symptoms, stating that the majority of fatalities have occurred due to delays in seeking medical attention. A new lab has opened in Baghdad for the testing of COVID-19, adding to the country’s medical capacity. UNICEF, the global cluster lead agency for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), is helping to procure personal protective equipment from the local and international market for health partners in Iraq.
On 25-March, the United Nations launched a US$2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan (HRP) to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, including Iraq. The COVID-19 Global HRP is a joint effort by members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)—including the UN, other international organizations and NGOs with a humanitarian mandate—to analyze and respond to the direct public health needs and indirect immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic. It aggregates relevant COVID-19 appeals and inputs from WFP, WHO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF and NGOs, and it complements other plans developed by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Global HRP is designed around three strategic priorities: (1) contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and decrease morbidity and mortality; (2) decrease the deterioration of human assets and rights, social cohesion and livelihoods; and (3) protect, assist and advocate for refugees, IDPs, migrants and host communities particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. The plan will support public information campaigns; the delivery of essential laboratory equipment and medical supplies; the installation of handwashing stations in camps and settlements; and the establishment of airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most.
Humanitarian clusters in Iraq have developed initial consolidated guidance for COVID-19 preparedness and response planning for camps in Iraq, led by the CCCM Cluster, with inputs from Health, WASH, Protection, Child-Protection, GBV, Shelter/NFI and the Communication with Communities/Accountability to Affected Populations actors. The guidance has been widely disseminated.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.