HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Three new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Health announced on Thursday.
The newest patients are a 32-year-old woman, as well as two men aged 30 and 32, all of whom were relatives of a person reported to have the virus on Wednesday.
So far, 103 cases of the coronavirus were recorded in Iraqi Kurdistan and two deaths.
27 patients have recovered, according to the health ministry.
Sulaimani’s health director said on Thursday that his directorate has recommended extending the coronavirus curfew in order to give the authorities a chance to identify all existing cases and put in measures to ensure that it will not spread after the lockdown ends.
“We have suggested that the government extend the curfew and quarantine until April 15,” Director Sabah Hawrami wrote in a post on his official Facebook account.
He added that health authorities stood ready to offer advice about how salaries could be distributed in a way that complied with public health guidelines, saying that it was not a difficult task from a technical standpoint.
Sulaimani Governor Haval Abubakr said on Thursday that city residents should not waste food or daily supplies.
“Do not buy more food than you need because it can spoil, which will create a flow of selfishness and economical and financial crises,” Abubakr said.
“We ask producers and shops not to store supplies because if they expire and go bad they will be responsible and it will be bad for the general economy,” he said.
Abubakr reassured the residents that trade and commerce is continuing at the border crossings despite the curfew and that food, oil, supplies are plentiful in Iraqi Kurdistan and the municipalities will keep a close eye on prices and will prosecute those who engage in price gouging.
In Erbil Kurdish security forces arrested two drivers who were trying to smuggle 20 people into the city of Erbil on Thursday.
Fazil Haji, spokesperson of Erbil traffic police said that two vehicles were seized at a checkpoint on the Erbil-Gwer road after attempting to smuggle two groups of Arabs from Gwer into the city.
Gwer, in territory disputed by Erbil and Baghdad, lies close to the town of Makhmour.
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