Kurdistan Region records first coronavirus cases in Sulaimani

Four people test positive for disease
Sulaimani Governor Haval Abubakr holds a press conference to report the Kurdistan Region's first coronavirus cases on March 1, 2020 (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Health said on Sunday (March 1) that it has identified four cases of coronavirus in Sulaimani, marking the first confirmed cases in the Region.

According to a ministry statement, the patients had recently returned from Iran, where there is a serious outbreak of the disease.

Three of the people infected with the virus are members of the same family. The fourth person is an unrelated woman.

Health officials had tested a group of twenty-four people, who were being kept under observation, which resulted in the four positive cases.

The patients are being treated at a separate hospital that has been prepared to receive coronavirus cases and are in stable condition.

The ministry called on the public to follow official advice and regulations regarding the virus, including from the government and the health and interior ministries. It also asked residents to cooperate with health teams in order to locate any suspected cases or travelers that may not have been screened yet.

The federal health ministry said that two additional cases were reported in Baghdad.

The announcements bring Iraq's total reported cases to 19.

As of Sunday, 54 people have died in neighboring Iran, with an official tally of 978 cases.

The novel coronavirus, known officially as COVID-19, originated in Wuhan in central China before spreading globally. Worldwide, nearly 30,000 people have died of the disease.

(NRT Digital Media)