In September, Iraq continued to witness a concerning increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, with a regular average of more than 4,100 new daily cases. The number of individuals who have contracted the virus as of 6 October stands at 387,121 cases; over 155,000 additional cases in comparison to the last update. Over 30 per cent of these cases have been detected in Baghdad, followed by Basrah, Wassit and Thi-Qar Governorates.
Similarly, the number of deaths to date has increased to a total of 9,531, however, the increase has been at a lower rate than the number of new positive cases. Meanwhile, the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have conducted over 2.3 million tests.
During the past weeks the Iraqi National Health and Safety Committee announced the relaxation of several COVID-19 restrictions and preventive measures within the country. Since 21 September, mosques, houses of worship, public and amusement parks, restaurants, event halls, and tourist facilities at five-star hotels were allowed to reopen on condition that they adhere to preventive measures as indicated by the Ministry of Health.
The GoI further announced the reopening of border crossings for commercial purposes, however travel to Iraq for visitors from a number of countries remains banned. As the number of cases continue to grow, health facilities across the country keep facing increasing pressure to provide support to all affected individuals. Since the beginning of August, in most governorates, only moderate, severe, and critical cases are being accepted for hospitalisation. Asymptomatic cases and those with mild symptoms have been advised to self-isolate at home.