Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani during a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, Feb. 8,2021. Photo by PM Barzani Media Office
SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister said on Tuesday (March 2) that his government cabinet has plans to secure vaccines for the Kurdistan Region’s whole population estimated at more than six million people.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, 5,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine produced by the Chinese state-run Sinopharm donated by China arrived in Erbil.
It is unclear how Barzani's cash-strapped cabinet can follow through such a pledge as it costs billion of dollars as KRG has been struggling for years to pay its public sector employees in full and on time.
“This is an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19 and our ongoing efforts to protect our brave frontline workers,” Barzani tweeted, noting that health care workers, security forces and the elderly and those at risk are prioritized to receive the first doses.
He also said that KRG is in contact with the foreign leading pharmaceutical companies to acquire more doses for the Kurdistan Region.
There has been a significant rise in coronavirus cases in the Kurdistan Region following the emergence of new variants of the virus globally.
KRG Minister of Health Saman Barzinji said last week that most of the new cases are the UK strain.
KRG Health Ministry recorded 119 new coronavirus-related cases, one new death and 119 recoveries over past 24 hours.
Overall, there have been 109,350 officially-logged coronavirus cases. Out of that, 103,744 have recovered and 3,522 have died, according to the ministry’s latest figures.
The Region recorded the first coronavirus cases on March 1 last year and the cases were climbing before declining to just few tens.
The highest daily infections were logged on October 27 with 1,597 cases.