Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday chaired a meeting with the government’s high-level committee on the coronavirus outbreak via video conference.
In the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Minister of Health presented a detailed report on the increasing number of infections and fatalities in the Kurdistan Region due to a recent surge in Covid_19 cases. The Minister of Interior then presented a report on government measures to enforce compliance with the government’s health advice.
Following an exchange of views on how to curb the spread of the disease, the government’s committee on coronavirus made the following decisions:
First: The government’s public health guidance will continue, including quarantine and delivering services to the infected, contacts and tourists. The campaign to spread awareness on the disease and health advice will intensify too.
Second: The committee also decided to make wearing a mask mandatory in public places and institutions. There will be a supply of masks at government institutions for people visiting these places. Violators will be held accountable to the law.
Third: The government will allocate an additional 5 billion Iraqi dinars to fight the pandemic. Health institutions in all provinces and counties can benefit from these funds.
Fourth: The government will facilitate the production of masks and other equipment to ensure high quality and affordable pricing.
Fifth: The Ministry of Health is permitted to expand laboratory services and set necessary mechanisms to diagnose and identify virus patients Ministry teams will continue contact tracing and tracking suspect cases.
Sixth: The Ministries of Health and Interior along with the Department of Foreign Relations were assigned to contact and visit relevant departments in the Iraqi government and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as well as consulates and international organisations to seek assistance for the fight against the virus.
Seventh: The travel ban between provinces in the Kurdistan Region and between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi cities will continue, and measures to protect from the virus will toughen amid a recent surge in infections. The Ministries of Peshmerga Affairs and Interior were also assigned to schedule reporting to duty hours in a way to minimise travel and contact, especially for those who commute from other cities to work. The same will apply to employees of other departments, who have to commute to work.