Iraq imposes week-long curfew. Image Source: IANS News

Baghdad, May 31 : Iraqi authorities have imposed a week-long curfew to curb the growing spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, an official statement said.

The decision was made on Saturday after a meeting by the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, which took several measures, including imposing "full curfew in Baghdad and the Iraqi provinces for a week starting from May 31 to June 6", Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The committee ordered the security forces to tighten the control of the implementation of the health restrictions through preventing all forms of gatherings that contribute to the spread of the virus, the statement said.

The restrictions included preventing the people from moving without masks outside their homes, and ordering the traffic police to detain any vehicle that carries more than 50 percent of its capacity and that all occupants should wear masks, it added.

The committee also allowed food shops and bakeries to open their doors, provided that no more than five persons wearing masks allowed inside, otherwise to be closed.

The latest restriction measure came as the Health Ministry said that the total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 6,179 since the outbreak of the disease in the country.

Ten infected people died on Saturday, bringing the death toll in the country to 195, while 3,110 have recovered so far, the statement said.

It also said that 12 health workers were infected.

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