SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Health Saman Barznji on Tuesday (March 30) announced new protective anti-coronavirus measures as the COVID-19 caseloads continue to surge in the Kurdistan Region.
In-classroom education will be halted at the schools, universities and institutes until April 10 except for exam days, Barnzji said at a news conference following a meeting of the Supreme Committee to Combat Coronavirus task force.
Cafes, hookah parlors and nightclubs will be shut down from 09:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m., he said.
Venues of gathering such as wedding halls, seminars, conference, funerals, sports halls and other locations will temporarily be closed. Government offices will only work from Sunday to Wednesday, the minister said.
“Every traffic from the Kurdistan Region’s checkpoints to the other Iraq’s governorates will be suspended on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but truck vehicles and the official trade delegations are allowed to enter the Kurdistan Region,” Barznji said during the press conference.
Restaurants and takeaways should serve their customers outside. But for those that they do not have enough space outside their sites of business, they should limit/reduce their customers inside their stores.
“All those people and places are penalized who will fail to take protective anti-COVID-19 measures such as donning face masks or more crowds,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, spokesperson for the health ministry Aso Hawezi did not rule out
that the authorities might resort to imposing new curfews if people fail to abide by the new measures.
There has have been spikes in the COVID-19 cases in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq following the emergence of new strains of the pathogen globally, especially the UK and South African variants.
On Tuesday, KRG Minister of Health logged 860 new coronavirus cases, seven new deaths and 399 recoveries over past 24 hours.
There have been 121,179 officially-logged cases in the Kurdistan Region in the same time span. Out of that, 109,234 have recovered and 3,660 have died.
Over the past months, the Kurdistan Region has received two batches of COVID-19 vaccines, 5,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine and 43,800 jobs of the Oxford-manufactured AstraZenneca vaccine.
The Kurdistan 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.