Curfew to be lifted in camps, one refugee contracted coronavirus

Duhok, Kabartu camp under imposed curfew, March 2020. Photo: KirkukNow

Ammar Aziz

The first coronavirus case confirmed in a refugee camp in Erbil, who is a Syrian Kurd and has not had close contact with people, according to health directorate of Erbil, while a curfew, like the rest of country, has been imposed on the camps.

A person, 32, who lives in Darashakran refugee camp, has contracted coronavirus, which is the first confirmed cases in the IDP camps, according to a statement published on April 26 by the Ministry of Health of the Kurdistan Regional Government,

Mohammed Qadir, the spokesperson of the health ministry, said, “the person is a refugee from Rojava (North Eastern Syria),and  nine days ago he went to work outside of the camp, but has not returned to the camp.”

The statement indicates that the spread of the virus in Darashakran camp “is not high because the infected person has not had close contact with any refugee in the camp, but to be sured, we have started conducting tests for the family of the person, and will randomly take samples tests from the residents of the camp.”

According the to decision and the measures of the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement, the nationwide camps have been closed to stop people’s interactions with one another, aiming at preventing the arrival of the virus to the camps.

Ismail Mohammed, assistant Duhok governor for refugee and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affairs, stated, “our measured inside the camps are strict. We do not allow any person to visit the camps at all, excluding the organizations and the health teams.”

There are more than 787 thousand IDPs only in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The IDPs are of different ethnic and religious minorities and backgrounds; 208 thousand of them live in 28 camps.

Mohammed added, “we have taken all the necessary measured but cannot say there is no threat on the camps.”

1847 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Iraq, among which 1286 recovered and 88 died.

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