Thursday, 19 March 2020 18:40

Statement by the United Nations in Iraq on the COVID-19 Virus

Baghdad, 19 March 2020 - The COVID-19 virus remains a present threat around the world, in this region, and in Iraq. It affects all segments of society and can only be fought with the full cooperation of each and every individual, every one of us doing what we can to help contain the outbreak.

To date, the measures taken by Iraq have been wide-ranging and squarely aimed at reducing the spread of the pandemic. It has not been easy, but the United Nations in Iraq is encouraged to note that, thanks to these efforts, Iraq has thus far managed to contain the spread of the virus.

However, the success of the containment efforts so far should not lead us to complacency. The fight is far from over. Mass gatherings, which rapidly spread the virus, must be restricted.

UN Iraq notes with appreciation that religious authorities in Iraq have urged their faithful to make public health their priority, and to stay at home rather than gather in pilgrimage until the pandemic is over. UN Iraq also commends the measures taken by the Government to stop people from gathering in groups that could endanger public health.

All that has been gained in keeping the pandemic under control in Iraq could be lost if people come together in large groups as they normally would during these dates. UN Iraq therefore calls upon the people of Iraq to commit to avoiding large gatherings – whether sports, religious or other. This is particularly difficult during a period in which we would normally gather to mark the special occasions, but we must think of others at this time, and make sure that we help limit the risk of transmission.

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