KRG prevents visa issuances for five countries amid coronavirus outbreak
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region has decided to suspend visas issuances for five countries as part of precautionary measures to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the autonomous region.
A statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Interior said visas for Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Singapore would be denied. Furthermore, the Ministry noted that arrivals from the mentioned countries would be held in quarantine to ensure they are not infected with the coronavirus.
“The arrivals from the five countries that traveled there after Jan. 1, 2020, will be tested medically before they are sent to quarantine for 14 days,” the statement read.
Iraq has also prevented visa issuances for the five countries previously mentioned, except diplomatic personnel and envoys, provided they receive a medical inspection to ensure they are not infected.
Iraq confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Monday – officially known as COVID-19 – in the city of Najaf, south of capital Baghdad. The infected is an Iranian student.
A day later, Iraq confirmed four more cases of coronavirus in the disputed province of Kirkuk among a family who recently returned from a visit to Iran.
Meanwhile, the KRG’s Ministry of Interior has advised citizens to avoid unnecessary travel to other provinces in Iraq, especially Kirkuk and Najaf with the confirmed cases.
The coronavirus has spread to over 26 countries, including China – where it originated – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Russia, Singapore, and India among others. The World Health Organization has already declared the outbreak an international health emergency.
There are around 80,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus all around the world, over 77,000 of which are in mainland China. So far, over 2,600 people have died suffering from the virus with 27,000 more recovering.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany