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Iraq Kurdistan region extends suspension of schools, universities over COVID-19 concerns

Members of the Ministry of Health of Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (IKRG) controls set obstacles on the highway between Sulaymaniyah and Halabja to monitor drivers' body temperature within the coronavirus precautions (COVID-19) in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on 13 March 2020. [Fariq Faraj Mahmood - Anadolu Agency]
Members of the Ministry of Health of Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (IKRG) controls set obstacles on the highway between Sulaymaniyah and Halabja to monitor drivers' body temperature within the coronavirus precautions (COVID-19) in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on 13 March 2020. [Fariq Faraj Mahmood - Anadolu Agency]

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq on Thursday extended the suspension of face-to-face education in schools and universities across the region to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

"After consulting with the Ministry of Health, especially following the outbreak of a second wave of the virus in several countries, it has been decided to suspend education in schools, educational institutes and universities," KRG spokesman Jotyar Adel told reporters, explaining that the decision aims to protect the health of students and teachers alike.

Last year, the KRG's Council of Ministers decided to limit face-to-face education during the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021, and to use distance learning in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

According to a statement from the KRG's Interior Ministry's High Committee for Combatting Coronavirus: "Studies for grade one and two as well as high-school grade 12 – governmental and non-governmental – will be suspended. Classes will continue online for students in grades three to 11."

However, the cabinet later amended the decision and suspended face-to-face learning in all academic stages.

READ: Turkey reports over 13,800 new COVID-19 cases

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CoronavirusIraqKurdistanMiddle East
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