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Coronavirus: Iraq bans tourists from entry before religious pilgrimage

A man stands underneath a roadside shower along Sinak street in Iraq's capital Baghdad on August 9, 2020, to cool off due to extremely high temperature rises amidst a heatwave.  / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Iraq on Sunday barred all vacationers from getting into the nation to include the unfold of the coronavirus as a holy pilgrimage approaches.

The choice, authorised by Iraq’s Greater Committee for Well being and Public Security, is to guard the nation’s financial system and well being sector from collapse as it faces an increase in infections.

“Iraq’s Greater Committee for Nationwide Well being and Security amends the partial curfew to use from 10pm to 5am each day, and bans all travellers from getting into Iraq for the aim of tourism,” a authorities assertion stated.

Every day tallies have elevated quickly prior to now few weeks, with circumstances topping 4,000 infections each day.

On Sunday, Iraq recorded 4,348 new circumstances within the earlier 24 hours, bringing the full to 176,931.

The loss of life toll elevated by 75 circumstances, bringing the toll to 5,860.

Authorities have imposed a partial nationwide lockdown to manage Covid-19 since early March.

Iraq’s non secular calendar is full of annual pilgrimages, attracting 1000’s if not thousands and thousands of worshippers from Iran and elsewhere all year long.

Pilgrimages in Iraq are a few of the largest mass gatherings on Earth.

Many within the nation say this was a essential cause the virus unfold so quickly there.

The approaching pilgrimage shall be within the month of Muharram and can mark the loss of life of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Hussein in 680.

It attracts a whole bunch of 1000’s of Shiites to Karbala from all over the world.

Greater than 21.7 million folks have been reported to be contaminated by the virus globally and greater than 770,000 have died, in line with official figures.

The UN stated final week that Iraq should deal with its crises, together with the containment of the coronavirus, or the nation will head into excessive poverty.

The nation faces the identical dilemma as a lot of the world – whether or not to ease restrictions to assist financial exercise, or keep a lockdown to keep away from the virus’s unfold.

A report by the UN Improvement Programme stated that years of financial, environmental, political, societal and safety upheaval had a long-lasting impact on the nation.

“For Iraq, many years of battle have hampered the nation’s stability and stunted its prosperity,” stated Zena Ahmad, the UN company’s consultant in Iraq.

“The onset of Covid-19 and the oil disaster have exacerbated current fragilities within the nation.”

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