Over the past weeks, Iraq continued to witness an increase in COVID-19 cases. The spread of the virus across the country keeps growing, with an ongoing rise in the number of positive cases, recently reaching over 2,800 new infections on a single day. The number of individuals who have contracted the virus as of 12 July stands at 77,506 confirmed cases; double the number of cases in comparison to the last update. More than 40 per cent of these cases have been detected in Baghdad, followed by Sulaymaniyah and Basrah. Likewise, the number of deaths to date increased to a total of 3,150.
Following the continued increase in the number of infections, the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have announced an extension of movement restrictions until further notice. In central and southern governorates, partial curfew is applied from 7PM to 6AM during weekdays and 24H during weekends. In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), movements between governorates are currently forbidden. In addition, mass gatherings and most public spaces remain closed countrywide until further notice, and the ban of commercial flights and closure of borders have also been extended until 15 July. Recently, the GoI and the KRG have further announced a series of measures to respond to the needs of health care facilities across the country. The government will increase collaboration with the private sector to enhance testing capacity, and reallocated funds to the Health Ministry to ensure resources are available to address all challenges arising from the virus outbreak. The GoI and the KRG have conducted over 682,000 tests to date.
Following the significant increase in the number of positive cases throughout the country, and given the capacity of public health facilities in certain governorates, some Directorates of Health (DoH) have stated that only moderate, severe, and critical cases will be accepted to their facilities. Asymptomatic cases and those with mild symptoms will be advised to self-isolate at home and will receive instructions on how to proceed. UNHCR in Iraq is already supporting the DoH in some governorates to conduct trainings on home care of COVID-19 cases