I'm here to talk about the Covid 19 virus outbreak, which is the biggest worry of the hour. It is a family of viruses studied to contain strains which in birds as well as mammals can cause potentially fatal diseases. Popularly they are communicated in humans by droplets of fluid that are airborne formed by people who are infected. Many uncommon but notable strains, including SARS-CoV-2 and those responsible for severe respiratory syndrome and acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the Middle East (MERS), can cause human death. Speaking of the effects of coronavirus here in Iraq, Baghdad's streets, the second most populated city in the Arab world, are abandoned by fears about the latest coronavirus. Yet, No cases of coronavirus were reported in the Salahuddin Governorate due to the local authorities taking early and strict preventive steps. To which Ammar Hekmat, Salahuddin's deputy governor, criticized the "weak cooperation between Baghdad and the rest of the Governorates," stressing the need for "safe funds to support security, civil defence and health institutions. Iraq has closed its border with Iraq, banned travel to and from the other most affected countries, and shut down schools, universities, cinemas and cafés in an effort to curb its spread among fears that the world is on the verge of a pandemic. Charting the spread, Cases of COVID-19 are now doubling every 3-4 days in Australia, demonstrating the quicker speed at which the virus will spread given the health system available. Compared with Australia's spread, we can easily find out how hard it would be for Iraq to monitor the country's pandemic. Countries affected by war will have trouble tracking who enters and leaves their territory and the best way to track coronavirus is by what we call contact tracing. But the biggest obstacle for an effective response to coronavirus is the poor or damaged public health systems in the region. Iraq’s health-care system is now in crisis. Drugs and the medical staff are in short supply for prescribing them. Thousands of doctors are leaving. Patients suffer, and life expectancy, and child mortality rates for the area are well below average. Since the latest threat has spread across Iraq's border, coronavirus has killed dozens of people and infected several more, including a deputy minister of health, forcing Iraqi government to close the border. Reuters talked to hundreds of physicians, patients, politicians, and private donors to understand the deterioration of Iraq's healthcare system, and analyzed data from government and the World Health Organization. The world has been devastated over the last three decades-by conflict and the U.N. Sanctions, religious violence and Islamic State upsurge. But Iraq has skipped opportunities to improve and repair its healthcare system, even in periods of relative stability. Baghdad's US Embassy also announced it would provide $670,000 to help Iraq combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Kurdistan Regional Government has suspended all "non-emergency" travel between the three KRI provinces (Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok) and has declared the suspension of domestic flights between Erbil International Airport and Baghdad and Basra airports from 14-March to 28-March (UN travel, diplomatic and official delegations exempted). Jordan has banned overland travel from Iraq but at the moment flights are running as usual. The three alleged cases of COVID-19 in the Salamiyah IDP camp in the governorate of Ninewa have been confirmed negative; patients remain under observation at a Mosul hospital. To date there are no other confirmed instances of COVID-19 cases recorded in any other IDP camps. The transmission risk of IDPs is no greater than that of the general public. Camp management at the Salamiyah camp has held meetings with all relevant stakeholders to discuss preparedness and mitigation steps, and similar drills are taking place in Iraq in other IDP camps. Humanitarian organizations continue to note the adverse effect COVID-19 has on Iraqi operations. Intensifying restrictions on travel in KRI, and between KRI and federal Iraq, impact on the capacity of humanitarians to provide assistance, including COVID-19 preparedness and response measures. OCHA is in regular contact with authorities but it is time-consuming to find ad-hoc approaches for different circumstances and not easily reproduced on a more extensive scale. The World Health Organisation has ruled that COVID-19 is a global pandemic. This is an indication that the virus has officially spread around the world (now present in 120 countries), and a sign of the expectation that the number of cases reported, deaths and countries affected will continue to increase. While the vast majority of cases in Iraq are related to people who have traveled to or recently returned from Iran, WHO has accepted that the spread of COVID-19 in Iraq has now reached population transmission rates, and robust preventive measures continue to be the best protection against a increasing caseload. WHO has stated that the relative youth of Iraq’s population (60 per cent of the population is under 25 years old) could contribute to relatively milder symptoms and quicker recovery times for those who are infected, as the virus does not affect young people as severely as older people. To ensure that decisions are followed, Iraqi authorities established, among others, a crisis unit composed of ministers for health, environment, immigration, employment, higher education and interior. The goal is to establish a comprehensive plan to restrict the virus's spread. Each Governorate will have its own unit linked to the Baghdad central unit.
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