Protestors in Iraq’s Dhi Qar province yesterday stormed the office of the head of the local Health Ministry forcing him to resign over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak amid the biggest rise in the number of cases over a 24-hour period.
Video footage emerged on social media showing Abdul Hussain Al-Jabri signing his resignation letter after protestors barged into his office. Protests have been taking place in the province since Tuesday with several demonstrators injured and arrested, according to Al-Hurra.
#Iraq’s Ministry of Health and Environment will launch a legal case against protestors who barged into the local health ministry head's office in Dhi Qar and forced him to resign.#ArabiaPolicy
Video credit: @HaiderAlftlawi2 pic.twitter.com/jqfcG1g9KB
— Arabia Policy (@ArabiaPolicy) June 4, 2020
However, it has since been reported that the Ministry of Health and Environment will seek legal action over the incident. The Dhi Qar governorate court and the ministry have also rejected Al-Jabri’s resignation as it was submitted under duress.
The Iraq Ministry of Health recorded 781 new infections and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours. Current figures say there are a total of 8,168 cases and 256 deaths linked to coronavirus. Last month the Iraqi government began easing lockdown restrictions that had been imposed in March, however following an unprecedented spike in new cases, the measures were put in place once again over the weekend.