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Situation update 

Keep watching this page for updates on the current situation in the Kurdistan Region. For information on what the coronavirus is and how to protect yourself against it, see Coronavirus: What you should know.

 

Situation summary 

The global spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a rapidly evolving situation. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) measures for continuous observation are in place, and dedicated facilities have been set up to handle and contain any cases should they arise, please contact the Ministry of Health’s hotline number when you see the symptoms in any person. Only the Ministry of Health or the World Health Organization is qualified to confirm any case of COVID-19.

 

Cases in the Kurdistan Region

The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring for any cases of COVID-19.

(Updated 15:00, 15 January 2021)

COVID-19: Kurdistan Region at a Glance*

Total confirmed cases: 387,363

Total recovered: 373,727

Total deaths: 7,160

Total active cases: 6,476

*Data include confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) since 1 March 2020.

COVID–19: Potential cases tested in the Kurdistan Region*

Potential cases tested

Total potential cases tested

3,730,752

Test Results

Positive cases

387,363

Negative cases

3,343,389

Under testing cases

0

Total confirmed cases

387,363

* This table shows the number of potential cases tested and the number of cases confirmed in the Kurdistan Region, via the Ministry of Health surveillance systems.

What the KRG is doing

To protect the people of the Kurdistan Region against the spread of the coronavirus, the government and related ministries are taking the following steps:

Movement within the Kurdistan Region

Movement between the Kurdistan Region and the provinces of Iraq is normal, in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health.

Schools and Colleges
  • The administration staff of education institutions must establish active Parent-Teacher communication for consulting and advising on implementing health regulations.
  • Teachers under the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and public and private school students above the age of 18 must get vaccinated before 1 December, 2021. Failure to adhere to the directives will result in facing disciplinary procedures according to general health laws.
  • Parents have until 31 October, 2021 to choose whether their children will have a physical presence at school or continue studying online.
  • Lectures and study programs will continue inside the university campus under health guidelines.
Informing citizens
  • The Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to provide its citizens with the latest information regarding the pandemic on an ongoing and daily basis through relevant government agencies and with the help of the media.
  • Residents of the Kurdistan Region should follow official health guidelines and self-protection procedures, including mask-wearing and keeping a distance of 2 meters between individuals.
  • All citizens, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear a mask when inside any indoor public space (e.g. Government offices, stores, restaurants, banks, among others). Those who fail to adhere to the directive will face charges under general health laws.
  • Anyone who does not wear a mask in public indoor areas will be fined 20,000 dinars according to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s procedures.
  • Promoting vaccination against Covid-19 by establishing an online vaccine registration platform, especially for older people and those with underlying medical problems.

 

Social Media
  • Any party on social media spreading disinformation or discouraging adherence with official health guidelines and self-protection measures will be subject to legal action through the General Prosecutor.
  • The Kurdistan Regional Government will continue its awareness campaign through all forms of media, including news outlets, in accordance with reform #4 on commercial laws from 2019, and with the participation of all relevant authorities within the government, the private sector, as well as public figures to encourage adherence with health guidelines.
  • The High Committee for Combating Covid-19 urges the media to cooperate in raising awareness and informing the citizens of the Kurdistan Region by publishing the information received from the Department of Media and Information.
Transportation

Taxi and bus drivers and their passengers must wear masks at all times. Anyone caught violating official health guidelines will be given a 20,000 (twenty thousand) Iraqi Dinar fine.

Recreational and social activities

Conferences and conventions may only occur if attendees are either fully vaccinated or can produce a negative PCR COVID-19 test, for which the event organizers will be held responsible of ensuring.

Funerals

Funerals and burial ceremonies will continue to be prohibited, and relevant authorities are responsible for enforcing guidelines. Anyone caught violating official health guidelines will be given a 2,000,000 (two million) Iraqi Dinar fine.

Private sector Institutions
  • Businesses and their employees must wear masks indoors and follow measures implemented by each business, or a 150,000 dinar fine will be given to owners.
  • All private sector employees must get vaccinated to conduct business and operations at their physical place of work.
Public spaces, shops, restaurants
  • Starting 1 February 2022, entrance to public spaces (e.g., Government offices, stores, restaurants, malls, event halls, businesses, and others) will be denied to those who cannot produce a negative result from a valid test taken within the past 48 hours or a COVID-19 Vaccination Card.
  • Restaurants and cafes should offer their services outdoors. In case there is no outdoor space available, the number of guests inside must be limited, windows and doors must be kept open at all times, and tables should be placed at a socially safe distance from each other (no less than 2 meters).
  • Citizens should not be allowed to enter public spaces without a mask. Any location caught violating these rules will be closed for 10 days and the owner will be fined 1,000,000 dinars.
  • All public places, such as markets, malls, restaurants, and hotels must have their employees either vaccinated or conduct a coronavirus test on a 72-hour basis. Those who fail to adhere to the directives will be fined and have their business shut down.
Mosques and other religious places
  • Religious community leaders must cooperate in helping spread health awareness and the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.
  • The Friday prayer and sermon must last half an hour or less.
  • Citizens should not be allowed to enter mosques and other religious spaces without a mask.
The work of the official administrations of the Kurdistan Region
  • The work of the government offices will continue from Sunday to Thursday.
  • Heads of offices of the Kurdistan Regional Government will be appointed to identify the required amount of work for employees to maintain operations and to determine a shift system to prevent a lapse in public services.
  • All employees of the Kurdistan Regional Government, civil or military, must wear a mask during work hours and get vaccinated before 20 January, 2022. Any employee who fails to adhere to the directives will face disciplinary procedures according to general health laws.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are still obliged to wear masks during work hours.
  • Operation rooms in governorates and autonomous administrations must follow these directives and will be given the authority to take stricter measures if necessary.
  • All ministries and offices will constrain staff to essential staff only.
  • Governors and supervisors of private institutions will be given the authority to take necessary measures against the spread of COVID-19 and implement health guidelines.
Kurdistan areas outside the administration of the region
  • Citizens of the Kurdish areas outside the administration of the Kurdistan Regional Government must also follow official health guidelines to protect themselves from COVID-19.
  • If caught violating guidelines of the Ministry of Health, measures will be taken by the following authorities:
    1. The committees of the municipality of the province and autonomous administration.
    2. The police.
    3. The director of the administration’s office.
    4. The traffic police.
    5. The courts.
  • Those who fail to comply with health guidelines will be handed over to the nearest police station for legal action under Article #240 of the Iraqi Penal Code # 111 of 1969, in accordance with Article #110 of the Penal Code # 23, 1971.
Dedicated Health Centers

Dedicated health centers are set up in all provinces of the Kurdistan Region to help identify and treat coronavirus infections and provide necessary care.

Healthcare in IDP and refugee camps

The Kurdistan Regional Government and relevant parties must follow official health guidelines in camps and coordinate with relevant international organizations.

Traveling to the Kurdistan region
  • All travellers who are entering the Kurdistan Region of Iraq must either show that they are fully vaccinated or have tested negative 48 hours prior to departure.
  • Tourists, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear a mask inside tourism places.
  • Any travelling agency that shows fake negative Covid-19 test results will be banned from travelling to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
  • Coronavirus tests will be administered at border crossings to people entering the Kurdistan Region and must test negative for the coronavirus.
  • Provinces, independent administrations, and all other high-ranking officials are expected to enforce regulations and take responsibility regarding the implementation of these directives.