Coronavirus: Iraq reports first two confirmed deaths as fears rise

  05 March 2020    Read: 1102
Coronavirus: Iraq reports first two confirmed deaths as fears rise @AFP

Iraq's health ministry has announced its first two confirmed deaths related to the new coronavirus disease.

A woman with a compromised immune system and a 65-year-old man who suffered from chronic diseases died on Wednesday in the capital, Baghdad.

There were also conflicting reports about a 70-year-old cleric who died in Sulaimaniya, in the Kurdistan Region.

Kurdish officials said the death was the result of Covid-19, but the health ministry said that was not confirmed.

Two relatives of the cleric, who was in quarantine before his death, have tested positive for the disease, according to the Kurdish health authorities.

Iraq has so far reported 34 cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most of them are linked to neighbouring Iran, where an outbreak has killed 107 people and infected 3,513 others.

There is concern that Iraq's health system will not be able to cope with a major outbreak, after years of war, UN sanctions, neglect and corruption.

A member of the Iraqi parliament's health committee has said the country's "hospitals and healthcare facilities are fully equipped to deal with the outbreak".

 

BBC


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