Kirkuk health director: Corona threats escalating

Kirkuk, 2020- entrance of a Kirkuk hospital for Covid-19 patients. Photo by Kirkuk health media

KirkukNow, Kirkuk

Kirkuk health director warns of spike in Covid-19 infections in the province as the hospital dedicated for patients is full and no more patients can be hospitalized.

The warning comes as Iraqi ministry of health has registered about 8,700 cases of Covid-19 infections on Wednesday while the daily cases were only a thousand per day last January.

Today 109 people tested positive in Kirkuk yet deaths reported. Everyday several cases of children and teenagers infections are reported.

"In the last few days, Covid-19 has sharply surged in Kirkuk unpredictably as more positive cases and deaths are registered." Said Dr. Nabil Hamdi, director of Kirkuk health. "We expect higher infections and deaths in the coming two weeks."

Hamdi said majority of the cases are of new variant of Covid-19.

"The situation might go out of our control due to indifference of people. I urge people to visit health centers to receive Covid-19 jabs"

Kirkuk, April 2021- Dr. Nabil Hamdi, director of Kirkuk health, distributes masks to Kirkukis urging them to follow protective measures. Photo by Karwan Salihi.Caption

Iraqi government has followed a new set of rules to set a limit for the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic. A fine of 25,000-100,000 Iraqi Dinars ($17-68) for skipping face mask and the fine is higher in public spaces.

Since February, full curfew imposed on Fridays and Saturdays. Partial curfew is valid from 10 pm to 5 am every day. Iraq has passed one million cases today since the outbreak of the pandemic in February 2020 while Kirkuk in total has registered over 40,000 infections and 900 deaths.

Iraq has joined the jab drive early March and so far about 275,000 received vaccination, out of which were 6360 were in Kirkuk.

The high committee for national health and safety has decided mid February to implement full curfew on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and night curfew from 8 pm to 5 am effective Feb. 18 to March 8 due to spike in Covid-19 cases.

Ordinary life has been resumed in Iraq since last April as authorities eased restrictions except schools which were receiving pupils once a week  and currently twice for classroom education.

People were skipping health precautions as authorities eased restrictions amid public belief that herd immunity has been acquired. 

In the beginning of February, Iraqi Minister of health called on the public to use masks and keep social distancing. He called for tough financial penalties on shops, malls, restaurants and cafes up to closure when health warnings to fight the pandemic disregarded. He asked for more awareness and educating campaigns about Covid-19 pandemic.


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