Iraq: Fears of COVID-19 spread during Arbaeen visit


Shafaq News / The Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment expressed on Friday a great fear of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic during Imam Hussein's visit, which is attended by millions, next Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement received by Shafaq News agency, "in light of the emergency health condition that our country is experiencing due to the outbreak of COVID-19, as we receive the memory of Imam Hussein's Arbaeen, peace be upon him, and the influx of millions of Muslims to the holy Karbala, we call upon all visiting citizens, owners of Hussaini processions, and officials of the holy shrines, mosques and Hussainiyat, to take the necessary precautions and apply all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of infection among the visitors".

The Ministry added, "The most important of these measures is the complete commitment to wearing masks by all visitors without exception, maintaining physical distancing as much as possible, and constantly sterilizing hands".

The Ministry called on all its health personnel and its medical detachments scattered to, "take the necessary preventive health measures, provide diagnostic, curative and educational health services, and supervise the implementation of preventive measures in the Hussaini processions, especially the food provided to visitors, and in the form of envelopes".

It also urged citizens, especially those with chronic diseases and old ages to "visit from a distance", calling media channels on raising awareness of, "the importance of remote visit in light of these emergency circumstances".

The ministry called on, "clerics, tribal leaders and civil society organizations to do everything they can to spread health awareness and urge visiting citizens to apply preventive measures including wearing masks and physical distancing to preserve their health and safety, and the safety of others from this pandemic".

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