Iraq temporarily halts commercial exchange with Iran, Kuwait amid coronavirus outbreak
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq has temporarily suspended trade exchange on its border-crossings with Iran and Kuwait starting from March 8 to 15, Iraq’s border commission said on Thursday.
“The decision to close the border points with Iran and Kuwait was made by the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, Hameed al-Ghazi, aimed to establish special mechanisms to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through the border,” a statement from Iraq’s Commission of border-crossings read.
The statement explained that the decision to suspend commercial exchange was made to allow the Ministry of Health to reorganize and prepare its preventive logistical requirements against the coronavirus.
The move was also made in response to the public’s demand embodied in official requests from Maysan, Basra, Diyala, and Wasit governorates demanding the border points be closed to limit the spread of the epidemic.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported its second death thought to be related to the coronavirus late on Wednesday, hours after the first death was announced.
Saif al-Badr, a spokesperson for Iraq’s Health Ministry, announced the registration of a “second death of a person diagnosed with the emerging coronavirus in Baghdad,” adding that the 65-year-old man suffered from several chronic diseases.
The number of coronavirus infections in Iraq has increased to 38 since the first case was recorded on Feb. 24. Fourteen cases are registered in Baghdad, eight in Sulaimani, five in Kirkuk, four in Najaf, two in Wasit, two in Diyala, one in Maysan, one in Karbala, and one in Babil governorate.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany