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    Novel Coronavirus ‪(COVID-19): Iraq’s Ministry of Health guidance to the public


    The Iraqi Ministry of Health on Saturday issued advice to the public regarding Novel Coronavirus ‪(COVID-19).

    The advice includes basic preventive measures such as:

    • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time. In the event that soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended.
    • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
    • Avoid approaching people who have a cough or are sneezing.
    • Cover the mouth with paper tissue when coughing or sneezing, then dispose of it immediately.

    Click here to read the advice (in Arabic).

    Earlier, Prime Minister Adel Abd Al-Mahdi chaired a meeting in Baghdad attended by the Minister of Health, the Director of the World Health Organization in Iraq and several officials to review the government’s preventive and precautionary measures against Novel Coronavirus ‪(COVID-19).

    The Prime Minister authorised the Government Crisis Cell to extend the ban on nationals of the Islamic Republic of Iran from entering the country, and to take the necessary measures to monitor the conditions of Iraqis arriving from Iran.

    In a related development, Iraq’s Border Crossings Authority announced the formation of a crisis unit to coordinate efforts with provincial councils and the Ministry of Health to equip Iraq’s border crossings, including airports, with specialist teams and medical devices to carry our examinations of arriving travelers to ensure that they do not carry COVID-19.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement that as the virus is not transmitted through agricultural produce and products, imports of these item remain unaffected.

    On Monday 24 February, The Ministry of Health announces a first case of COVID-19 in Iraq.

    The Ministry confirms that the patient, who is a student from Iran, entered Iraq prior to the Government Crisis Cell’s decision to extend the ban on nationals of the Islamic Republic of Iran from entering the country.

    Federal authorities will continue working with their local and international partners to monitor the situation and inform the public about the latest development and guidance.

    This article was published on 23 February 2020 and last updated on 24 February to reflect the current situation in Iraq.

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