The Iraqi government will imposed a curfew in the capital Baghdad beginning tomorrow until 24 March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the state news agency reported yesterday.
Along with the week-long curfew, all flights will be suspended from Baghdad's international airport and several governorates of the country have ordered the closure of the borders: these include Dhi-Qar, Babil, Maysan, Najaf, Basra, Diwaniyah, Kirkuk, Wasit, Nineveh and Kerbala, as well as Erbil and Suleimanya.
The latest data from Iraq's Ministry of Health revealed the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the country has reached 111, including ten deaths and 27 patients who have now recovered.
Following the reported deaths, Iraqi President Barham Salih and caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi called on parliament to declare a state of emergency for 30 days in order to contain the outbreak.
"The President of the Republic and the Prime Minister sent a request to the Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Al-Halbousi, to declare a state of health emergency for 30 days, which can be extended in accordance with Article 61 of the constitution," the Iraqi presidency said in a statement.
According to Haaretz, people raced to supermarkets and emptied shelves, while others stocked up on kerosene and cooking gas.
Last week, Baghdad shut down schools and universities for ten days and banned travel to virus-hit states, in addition to a ban on travel between governorates and the closure of public places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas, shopping malls, parks and mosques.