COVID-19 case detected at IDP camp in Duhok: migration and displacement ministry

Photo Credit: Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration

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SULAIMANI — The federal Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced on Wednesday (August 5) that it has identified a coronavirus case at the Chamishku camp in Duhok’s Zakho district, the first at that facility.

The General Director of the ministry’s Branches Affairs Department Ali Abbas said in a statement that the person in question was a 39-year-old internally displaced person (IDP).

“Thirty of those who were in contact with him have been isolated according to the initial report issued by the competent authorities in the province,” read the statement.

“With the guidance of Minister of Immigration and Displacement Evan Faeq, immediate measures have been taken to sterilize the camp and prevent entries and exits to limit the spread of the virus,” Abbas added.

“Necessary measures have been taken in coordination with Duhok Health Department to take samples, transport patients, and isolate the contacts.”

A request for comment sent to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) was not immediately returned.

Located just north of Zakho city, Chamishku is home to 26,520 IDPs, according to UNHCR.

Since the beginning of the Kurdistan Region's coronavirus outbreak in March, Duhok has been relatively free of the virus, but cases have increased significantly in the past two week, surging from 357 cases on July 21 to 801 on Tuesday.

For many, the nightmare scenario is that the coronavirus outbreak spreads to the displacement camps, where social distancing and other public health measures are difficult to achieve.

(NRT Digital Media)