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IHCHR announces initial indicators on coronavirus

Graphic: Commission's head office, Baghdad

The Commission has been monitoring the response of the government and health providers to the dangers posed by the virus.

  • The vulnerable measures taken at airports and borders.
  • Failure to comply fully with the orders of the Crisis Cell, formed pursuant to Order No. (55) of 2020.
  • The limited capabilities and supplies required for the purposes of examination, prevention and treatment in the relevant institutions.
  • The lack of established conduct in dealing with the issue by the medical personnel and health institutions.
  • Insufficient awareness and the absence of extension methods for the citizen.


We recommend rapid and scientific interaction by all state institutions in dealing with the disease, patient, and citizens in general through:

1. Completing all real preparations urgently with regard to places of medical quarantine in all Iraqi provinces in terms of the readiness, furnishing and suitability of the place with the current situation of the possibility of the rapid development of disease, and providing it with the required medical and preventive supplies and sterilizers. It is necessary to focus on sites outside the city and providing all capabilities for the completion of some hospitals that have been completed or a large part of them completed previously for the purpose of making use them as sites for medical quarantine in the event that there is no availability or adequacy of the existing sites.

2. Speeding up the laboratory tests of samples sent to Baghdad (where laboratory testing is exclusively) for people who show symptoms of the disease to ensure that the duration of their quarantine in hospitals is not unduly prolonged to reduce the burden on the State and to not expose them to risk as well, with the necessity of providing all provinces with the capabilities and requirements of Lab examination of the disease.

3. A careful attention should be paid to provide adequate and real protection for the medical and health staff in terms of providing the necessary protective supplies according to international standards as it is considered one of the most important priorities for work in facing the disease at the World Health Organization, in turn all cadres should be directed to deal professionally and humanely with those who have symptoms of the disease and take into account his health and psychological condition and not to be afraid of him, or to notify him that he is being rejected or undesirable.

4. The necessity of emphasizing all airports and border outlets not to be lenient and to adhere to the instructions of the crisis cell formed, with the necessity of providing the airports and border outlets with adequate and appropriate examination equipment, the protective requirements for the staff and the necessary instructions.

5. Setting clear scientific guidelines for the medical and health personnel to deal with the patient (or who has symptoms of the disease only) and also clear instructions for the citizen to deal with infection and disease in terms of specifying specialized centers to receive patients and those suffering from symptoms of the disease and hotlines in all cities with intensifying educational and awareness programs for the purpose of educating the citizen and increasing health awareness about the disease.

6. The necessity of issuing a daily official statement by the Ministry of Health and Environment on the latest developments related to the disease, through all official media channels and agencies, to counter media intimidation against citizens and confront the vast amount of misinformation that has been published and circulated in the media, especially the social media sites over the disease, its emergence, prevention and treatment. The necessity for the official institutions (health, cultural, information, educational) to play their real role in clarifying the scientific and professional aspect about the disease and educating citizens on the subject to prevent their reluctance of going to the health institutions for examination and receiving care required, thus preventing the spread of the disease. As well as the necessity of cooperating with the IHCHR's teams in Baghdad and the provinces in order to provide them with the accurate numbers and statistics and involving them as observatory members in the crisis cell in all provinces to realize institutional cooperation and the application of the Commission's law No. (53) of 2008.

7. Enhancing the role of (government and unions) health control teams on pharmacies and centers for medical and health supplies to prevent the exploitation of the citizens and their needs, while tightening health control over restaurants and fast food catering points to adhere to health instructions.

8. Giving priority to pre-trial detention centers and prisons with regard to educating inmates, addressing the problem of overcrowding, establishing special isolation and quarantine places for them in the event of the disease's spread, providing the necessary supplies and treatment where there is a real risk of turning these places into a dangerous focus for the disease in the event of its spread.

9. The need to stop all gatherings for any reason, including religious, social, civil and political ones.

10. The need for intensifying the field effort of the civil defense teams in order to sterilize the sites, streets and public places, especially where the disease spread.

11. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs should tighten supervision of workers' locations, particularly (foreign workers), and comply with occupational health and safety regulations.

Official statistics

Confirmed cases:

Baghdad: 1

Najaf: 1 (Iranian nationality and left Iraq to his country)

Kirkuk: 5

Note: All enjoy good health and no complications.

Image credits

  1. Commission's head office, Baghdad - IHCHR