Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior yesterday announced the closure of all casinos, gambling halls, and nightclubs in the capital Baghdad.
“The ministry’s intelligence agency has carried out a security duty in different parts of Baghdad,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the security forces had “closed casinos, nightclubs and alcoholic beverages outlets in a number of hotels and lounges across Baghdad.”
The ministry pointed out that the move was made “to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the capital city.”
The owners of those venues, the statement noted, would abide by the decision “in cooperation with the Iraqi federal police.”
Iraq has so far recorded 75,194 coronavirus cases, including 3,055 deaths and 43,079 recoveries, according to its Health Ministry.
Authorities have imposed a partial curfew, banned gatherings and made the wearing of masks mandatory in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.
The country’s health system has been overwhelmed by the rising numbers, and there is a shortage of medical supplies including PPE and oxygen canisters.