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Gulan-media - Kurdistan Region restricts travel to federal Iraq, as new coronavirus variant hits
Kurdistan Region restricts travel to federal Iraq, as new coronavirus variant hits
  
Date: 23/02/2021 : 17:36:1531 Views

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Kurdistan Region announced on Monday that it would be restricting travel to and from federal Iraq, following a new variant of coronavirus hitting Erbil.

“We have authorized the provincial crisis cell to control the border points between Iraqi provinces and Kurdistan Region provinces,” Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson Jotiar Adil announced at a press conference on Monday, noting that political and diplomatic missions hold an exception to the rule.

The decision by the KRG came after the region recorded 19 cases of the UK coronavirus variant in Erbil in recent days.

Experts believe the UK variant emerged in September, and may be as much as 70% more transmissible or infectious. Newer research by Public Health England puts it between 30% and 50%.

A spike in cases led Iraqi authorities to decide last week on a partial curfew, which began on Thursday. A few days after the announcement, Iraq’s health ministry said that it had registered several cases of the UK coronavirus variant for the first time.

Adil also announced that Newroz and several other holidays would have to be celebrated without social gatherings.

“The celebrations in March will be respected, however without any social gathering,” Adil added in the press conference.

The Kurdistan Region was under a full lockdown for last year’s Newroz.

The spokesperson on Monday reiterated that schools would remain open, but pleaded that schools abide by the protection measures set out.

The Kurdistan Region recorded 157 new cases, 55 recoveries, 1 death in 24 hours, the health ministry announced on Monday.

Overall, the Region has recorded 107,933 coronavirus cases, including 103,011 recoveries and 3,508 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.

Rudaw

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