Iraq reports first coronavirus case in Baghdad, sixth overall

22 dead of virus in Iran
FILE PHOTO: Members of the medical team check the temperature of Iraqi men, following the coronavirus outbreak, at the entrance checkpoint of South Mosul, Iraq February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Abdullah Rashid


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SULAIMANI — Iraq reported the first case of coronavirus in the capital Baghdad on Thursday (February 27), its sixth in total.

A man contracted the virus after a trip to Iran, the health ministry said in a statement. He was in “good health” in a Baghdad hospital, it added, according to Reuters.

Iraq on Wednesday banned public gatherings and barred entry by travelers from Kuwait and Bahrain because of the spread of the new coronavirus, prohibiting travel to or from a total of nine countries.

Iraq is concerned about the spread of the coronavirus from neighboring Iran, one of the worst-hit countries outside China where the virus originated late last year.

Iraq has cultural and religious ties with Iran and annually receives millions of Iranian pilgrims.

An Iraqi family of four who returned from Iran tested positive for the coronavirus in Kirkuk province on Tuesday. They were the first Iraqis known to have caught the disease, a day after an Iranian student in Najaf became Iraq’s first confirmed case. He was later transferred to Iran.

Meanwhile, twenty-two people have died so far from the new coronavirus in Iran, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported in a chart it published on Thursday.

The number of people diagnosed with the disease is 141, the chart showed. It did not specify whether those who have died were included in the tally of those infected.

Iranian officials on Wednesday reported a total of 139 cases of coronavirus and 19 deaths.

Iraq’s southern neighbor Kuwait has 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to a health ministry official.

The official added that all the cases involved people who had been to Iran.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)