Iraq lifts nighttime curfew completely, despite surge in coronavirus infections

More than 5,000 new cases reported on Wednesday
Passengers wearing protective masks queue for check-in at the departure hall after the reopening of Baghdad International Airport, where flights halted due to the coronavirus disease (COVID1-19) outbreak in Baghdad, Iraq on July 23, 2020. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

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SULAIMANI — The federal Supreme Committee for Health and National Safety to Combat the Coronavirus Pandemic said on Thursday (September 24) that it has canceled the overnight curfew that was previously in force between 10:00 p.m. to 05:00 am.

The announcement was made in the context of a continued surge in the number of coronavirus cases across the country.

On Wednesday, the federal health ministry reported 5,055 new coronavirus infections, including 1,623 in Baghdad alone.

In March, Iraq announced a total lockdown in response to the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. Since then, the lockdown had been eased in phases, with the nighttime curfew the last remaining aspect.

Separately, the Council of Ministers Secretariat encouraged Iraqis to wear face masks and observe social distancing, but provided no enforcement mechanisms.

According to the health ministry, there have been 332,635 cases of coronavirus in Iraq. 264,988 patients have recovered from COVID-19 and 8,754 have died from it as of Wednesday.

(NRT Digital Media)