Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Iraq Confirms First Death From Novel Coronavirus

Wed 04 Mar 2020 | 11:58 AM

Iraq on Wednesday confirmed the first death from the novel coronavirus in Sulaimania city, according to the state's health ministry. The total cases infected with the virus in Iraq reached 31.

The ministry added that most coronavirus-diagnosed cases had recently returned from neighboring Iran, which has had the highest number of deaths from the virus outside of China, where the outbreak originated.

It has previously issued a statement telling Iraqis to avoid any gatherings, be it protests, religious ceremonies or social events to avoid catching the virus.

Iraq on Wednesday had banned public gatherings and barred entry by travelers from Kuwait and Bahrain, prohibiting travel to or from a total of nine countries, according to Reuters.

Iraq’s first case was an Iranian student who has since been sent back to Iran. The other 12 are all Iraqis who had visited Iran.

Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus has reached 54, a health ministry spokesman said on Sunday, adding the number of those infected had reached 978.

Turkey said on Saturday it had halted passenger flights to Iraq, Italy and South Korea due to fears over the virus. The land crossing between Iraq and Turkey had also been closed.

Coronavirus continued to spread across the Middle East and North Africa with over 1,600 infected across the region.

The coronavirus first started spreading from Wuhan, China, earlier this year and has since infected nearly 90,000 people, with over 3,000 dead. The Middle East has been hit particularly hard as cases started spreading across the region as travelers returned from Iran, the second deadliest epicenter for the disease after China, with 66 reported dead.